The Bottom Line: A compelling conspiracy thriller propelled by explosive action, intriguing alternate history and provocative conversations about capitalism and society.
As The Billionaire’s Conspiracy opens, a trio of anarchists break into a weapons vault at Virginia’s Fort Belvoir, killing a soldier and one of their own in the process. They get away with a truckload of automatic weapons, grenades, shoulder-fired rocket launchers and more.
Meanwhile in Fairfax, Virginia, a member of a clandestine intelligence team called Unit 81, Janusz, visits a colleague in a hospital. It seems that members of Unit 81 are being hunted, and Janusz has no idea who the hunters are. Are they Russians? Iranians? The only clue: one of the gunmen wore a large Breitling watch.
In San Francisco, a billionaire named Octavio Souza reveals his plans to stage a revolution. His grand scheme was seeded with millions in donations to social causes that have earned the trust of a wide range of entertainment moguls and government officials. Octavio claims to have people working for him in U.S. attorney offices in key states, as well as in the Secret Service. During a staged protest in front of the White House, his agents plan to open fire, massacring a large number of protestors. The incident will create a domino effect, leading to the impeachment of the incoming president and the creation of a new U.S. constitution.
Can Janusz and Unit 81 evade their own assassinations and live to stop the insurrection?
Author MJ Javani has created a compelling conspiracy thriller that becomes more engrossing with each chapter. While some of Javani’s characters are intentionally insufferable (namely Destruction and Hazard), Octavio Souza is a first-rate villain that readers will look forward to spending time with. He’s not only blessed with a strong point of view, he’s also filled with brilliant one-liners (“My dear spoiled brats, this is not an American university where you make demands and the administration immediately surrenders”) and fascinating opinions on post-modernism.
Janusz is another gem. While capable of brutal violence and herorism just like Mitch Rapp or Scot Harvath, he’s far more educated and eloquent than his literary contemporaries. Just when you think you understand precisely what Janusz is made of, he blows us away with a lecture on the evils of activist professors, the dire need for critical thinking in universities, and the need for more patriotism in the entertainment sector.
Along the way, Javani has a few alt-history easter eggs that will please readers. At the risk of spoiling the surprises, here’s a juicy hint: in Javani’s universe, a real-life U.S. president never made it to the White House.
Let’s hope Javani has more adventures in store for Unit 81.