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Aftershock    by Adam Hamdy order for
by Adam Hamdy
Order:  USA  Can
Headline, 2019 (2019)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Adam Hamdy's Aftershock, third in his Pendulum series following Freefall, is an over the top thriller that never stops for breath and continually leaves the reader breathless. Unfortunately, I missed the first two books, so took a while to figure out who's who in the sizable cast of characters in this trilogy.

Pendulum opened on an attempt to kill photographer John Wallace, who had no idea why he was targeted, but is haunted by the deaths of soldiers he worked with in Afghanistan. Wallace remained on the run in Freefall, but was helped by FBI Agent Christine Ash and London DI Patrick Bailey. They both suffered severe consequences for their actions against an anti-capitalist Foundation that believes any means justified to attain its ends.

As this episode opens, most of the good guys are satisfied that the Foundation's conspiracy has been defeated. Not so Christine Ash, whose torture at the hands of the their leader has changed her, and not in a good way. Though she and Wallace became very close at one point, she has succumbed to the paranoia her abusive father taught, and trusts no-one. Now she leads a task force to neutralize the remnants of the Foundation.

Aftershock opens on another murder attempt, this time against DI Patrick Bailey and his beloved Melissa in London. They survive, barely, but Bailey's subsequent actions send him on the run. In Arizona, readers are introduced to charismatic elderly Arno (who appears to have unusual powers over others) and his vicious companion Beth.

Christine gets in trouble after an attack she leads against a high-value Foundation target is ambushed, with multiple fatalities - who leaked her plans? She goes off grid and eventually teams up with Wallace, Bailey and associates, both old and new. There are captures and escapes, injuries and many deaths - and a shocking reunion for Christine Ash before it's finally all over.

I enjoyed some of the details in this novel - like the development of an artificial intelligence program to identify and out trolls - as much as its thrill ride of a plot. Dive in yourself (it will be a while before you come up for air) and don't miss the Author's Note at the back, which shares real-life incidents that inspired some of the storyline.

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