Book Review: Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project by Daniel P. Douglas

The Bottom Line: An engrossing, deftly-crafted UFO conspiracy thriller that is easily one of the most successful tales to emerge out of Roswell alien lore.

On a muggy day in Washington D.C., Air Force General Edward Taylor arrives at the Naval Observatory to discuss the mysterious disappearance of two fighter pilots in the Nevada desert. But for Taylor, his colleague Professor Moresby and others involved in the Saint Mary Project, the disappearance is actually anything but mysterious. For them, this was simply another skirmish with a UFO.

Enter William Harrison, a bored Tucson-based private detective who was among those who saw something mysterious in the sky on the night the pilots went missing. A former FBI agent, Harrison begins receiving mysterious postcards with the signature “Echo Tango.” The sender, as it turns out, is a former Saint Mary Project operative. The ensuing trail leads Harrison on a search that spans Tucson, Los Angeles and ample portions of New Mexico and Nevada.

As in any good conspiracy thriller, Harrison’s quest to find out where the bodies are buried won’t go unnoticed by the Circle, the nefarious group behind the project that does anything it takes to “contain exposure” to the program’s existence.

With Truth Insurrected: The Saint Mary Project, Daniel P. Douglas has reimagined the Roswell UFO tale (the alleged 1947 crash-landing of an alien spacecraft in Roswell, New Mexico) as a decades-long government conspiracy to develop technology to defend against what they believe is an inevitable alien invasion. Douglas’ Professor Moresby puts it plainly: “The fundamental reason for our secrecy is that upon the moment of disclosure, we must be able to reassure the public that we can defend ourselves.”

Well-plotted and gorgeously written, Douglas’ secret sauce is injecting noir-like atmosphere, characterization and pacing into what could be, in less capable hands, just another UFO conspiracy story. The best passages in Truth Insurrected are seen through Harrison’s eyes, beginning with a bungled surveillance operation that at once render him both highly observant and vulnerable. And just when you think Harrison has cracked most of the book’s big secrets, Douglas delivers another thrilling surprise.

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