My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Four years after a tragic mission decimated his career and his team, Cole “Tox” Russell is persona non grata to the United States. And that’s fine—he just wants to be left alone. But when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed at an archaeological dig where three Bronze-era censers are found, Tox is lured back into action. Partnered with an archaeologist and an FBI agent who’s an expert in deception, Tox and his team are pitted against a secret society, a plague dubbed the New Black Death, and a revered codex—which may hold the key to stopping the deadly outbreak.
Whew! I was sweating bullets several times in this book! LOL Intense and suspenseful with lots of action, you'll be on the edge of your seat literally biting your nails as you read the first book in Ronie Kendig's new series, Conspiracy of Silence (Tox Files #1).
You can't help but feel Tox's pain and guilt as he's brought out of hiding after three years. His hard won somewhat peaceful existence is turned on its ear when a dormant, centuries-old disease is unleashed and the President of the United States sends for him. His reunion with his team and his family and friends evokes pain all around. Can they forgive him and will they choose to trust him again? Can Tox forgive himself and leave the guilt behind?
I liked Tox's depth of character and his determination to do his best to protect his family and to make things right with his team. He's learned a lot from his friend, Chiji, while exiled for three years in Nigeria but struggles to put that to action when in the midst of battle. I love Chiji and their interaction. He's very protective of Tox, while at the same time pushing him to be a better person.
I also liked Casey's character. It was so interesting to read her methods as a deception specialist for the FBI. She proves invaluable several times to the team with her observations. She's also known Tox since she was a child and has never really got over her secret crush. She's been married and goes by a nickname so Tox doesn't know who she is at first. Romance takes a backseat in this story but the vibes between those those two are great! :)
The secondary characters (his team, the archaeologists, the FBI team, etc) add a great complexity to the story. Each team member is unique but they work together with a unity that uses each team member's strengths to their advantage. At the same time there is some mystery with several characters that leaves you wondering - are they on our side or not? You also might want to read the free novella, Warrior's Seal, which introduces several characters and explains what happened to get Tox exiled.
With a mind boggling spin through 7 (yes SEVEN!) countries and a lot of fast paced black-ops combat action, a mix of biblical archaeological finds, the release of a deadly plague, and a secret society involving the top rungs of the world's society - whew! - there's no doubt you'll be riveted to this book!
*Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a complimentary copy of this book. I was not paid or required to write a positive review and all opinions stated are my own.*
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