You expect a thriller written by a retired member of the U.S. Intelligence Community who served in Iraq and Saudi Arabia to give you the inside dope on how terror and other stuff gets done.
In this second installment of Eric C. Anderson’s New Caliphate trilogy (Dunn Books), soldiers, spies and statesmen converge as the world braces for an overflow of terror – a new U.S. president is about to be inaugurated and ISIS is attacking on multiple fronts.
But beyond the main storyline, one gains an array of information – the relevance of which may depend on your vocation or your intentions to take over parts or all of the free world. Consider:
- How to take out the U.S. drone base in the Seychelles (start by seizing a small yacht)
- How to take out the U.S. airbase at Kandahar (tunnel under it and plant 15 tons of high-grade dynamite)
- How to blow up the U.S. embassy, other Western diplomatic missions and the InterContinental Hotel in Lagos (use garbage trucks on a Monday)
- How to mow down people on the Washington Mall (the shooters form a triangle and fire MAC-10 machine guns)
- How ISIS can sneak an email past the NSA code-breakers (pack a 1,500-character text message into a single letter of the Quran; if the NSA picks the wrong letter, the entire email crumbles into jumbled data.)
- How Libyan strongmen shake money out of international aid agencies (their guards defecate next to “patients” in horrendous medical facilities, photos are taken, then the “patients” are killed)
- Why journalists don’t cover Boko Haram (“there is nothing worse than bleeding to death from a severed hand where everyone is afraid to assist in a rescue.”)
- How to hunt Taliban leaders (with dogs – because nobody vaccinates a dog in Afghanistan, so a dog bite carries lethal rabies)
As expected, you also get the expensive toys: a Rolex Daytona 6263 Oyster Albino (“only four were ever made”) and a 1969 Mercedes 280SE Cabriolet, upgraded to a 6.5-liter V-8 with turbo-charging. And the personal weapons: a Yavus 16 (“not quite the stopping power of a .45 but still accomplished desired results”).
And the high-tech stuff, in this case how to crash the Internet.
But what you don’t expect from a thriller, and what Anubis delivers, is even more impressive. Anderson is smart, observant and quite literate.
When an ISIS honcho lays out his plans, he summons his leaders and their would-be successors. Anderson notes, “Men were far more attentive and cautious in the presence of ambitious youth.”
He writes of the traditional Middle East, “No one trusted anyone else – including spouses….if prostitution is the oldest profession, intelligence collection comes next – jealous significant others always want to know if they are being cheated on.”
About the inability of U.S. intelligence agencies to follow the money: “(They) can’t afford Harvard Business School graduates. History majors and political science students don’t have a clue.”
About the CIA: “The analysts were all liberals and the operators conservatives. Bumper-sticker wars endlessly cycled through the parking lots.”
In short, in Anubis, you’re in the hands of a pro; Anderson’s pages are crisp, bracing and a lot of fun. At one point, he writes, “The coming train wreck had left the station.” Don’t let Anubis get away from you.