Review of ‘The Doomsday Prophecy’ by Scott Mariani

scott-mariani-the-doomsday-prophecy…this one is a three star offering. It’s as though Mariani’s second Ben Hope novel was the true first but he had to fire out “The Alchemist’s Secret” to prove the series might work…and now he’s got to continue. The result is the third novel’s plot is as weakly chained together as the second novel was tightly bound; the third novel’s cast of extras are caricatures of the second; the most powerful love story Mariana could have dreamt up – Hope own wife – has been knifed in favour of two stereotypes – the spoilt rich girl and the hard nosed CIA agent. Even the wannabe megalomaniac’s psychotic sidekick – Jones – is a pale imitation of the previous Bozza and Glass. Enough said…it’s not as good as the first two.
The story centres around Ben’s continuing hopes (excuse the pun) to extricate himself from his former SAS turned do-gooder mercenary lifestyle and complete his theology degree. Trouble is this puts him straight into the sphere of his old professor Tom Bradbury whose TV personality and brilliant archeologist-daughter, Zoe, has gone missing in Corfu. Zoe is beautiful and a pain in the proverbial ass with a wild lifestyle. Not the kind of person Ben wants to go saving so he enlists an old army mate by the name Charlie to go have a look – which all ends rather nastily meaning our reluctant hero has to don his military gloves again and travel between Corfu, the US, and Israel to unravel a tricky plot centred around the “End-of-the-World” prophecies in Revelation. We get an attempt at mystery with the televangelist con artist Clayton Cleaver and the lawyer Skid (who for some reason reminded me of Saul from ‘Breaking Bad’) wrapped up with Ms Daisy Augusta (though there’s little in the way of driving going on). By the time we’re half way through, the author has tired of this and pulls in an entirely new set of bad characters who are the real reason for the entire plot. Which isn’t terribly good writing, to be honest. Made me feel like he first half of the novel was irrelevant and a waste of money. I have to say, though, the scene of the shooting competition culminating in a lit match was rather well done.
From this point on Ben descends into his customary spiral of death and mayhem as he takes on a rogue unit of the CIA, sprints around Jerusalem and, in a rather excruciatingly cliched way, saves the world with a second to spare. By the end of it he’s exhausted so it’s no wonder he brushes off Alex. However, it does appear he might have given up his attempts to retire to a vicarage so it’ll be interesting to see what happens in the next one.
Overall, not bad. But not as good as the first two. Hope the fourth’s back on track.

Categories: Book Reviews, Scott Mariani

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