The Bottom Line: A timely sci-fi thriller that earns its suspense honestly and delivers compelling plot twists until the very end.
That’s one of the key questions explored in Derik Cavignano’s sci-fi thriller, The Righteous and the Wicked. As the book opens, accountant Jacob Hanley is finishing a restaurant meal when an old man enters who appears to be suffering from dementia. The old man warns customers to beware of something called “The Order.” Then he dies.
The cleverly crafted setup is so effective because it’s actually so common. In an age where dementia has become commonplace, we tend to dismiss ranting old coots as delusional. In The Righteous and the Wicked, Cavignano poses an interesting question: what if they are actually the ones with a tighter grip on reality?
It’s a provocative question that only gets more intriguing. When the coroner determines that the dead man was in fact just 30 years old, Jacob’s curiosity draws him in. What he discovers about The Order leads to a life-or-death struggle with mortal consequences.
In addition to its tantalizing plot, the book also delivers a deliciously compelling villain. Hans Streisser – aka The Great Elder – was one of the original scientists on the Philadelphia Experiment, a project designed to render ships invisible to radar. These days, Striesser heads up a controversial biotech firm that has its fingers into everyting from organ farming to artificial intelligence.
It’s the perfect setup for a wildly entertaining book that pits Jacob against a worthy adversary.