Friday, 1 April 2005

My Name....

It has long been rumored in academic circles that a sixteenth-century monk named Eisenreich took Machiavelli several steps further, writing a masterplan for world domination so dangerous the Pope had him killed to suppress it. But Eisenreich's text, 'On Supremacy', survived. But when the bullet-riddled body of a young girl is found in Montana and "Eisenreich" is her dying word, it becomes terrifyingly clear that not only is the document real - someone is planning to use this explosive piece of history in the late twentieth century. Beautiful, troubled government agent Sarah Trent is given just enough information by her covert office to begin digging into the murder of the young girl. Her search takes her to Columbia University and a brilliant young political theorist named Xander Jaspers, who agrees to help her. 'On Supremacy' has fallen into the hands of a cabal intent on using it as a blueprint for ripping apart society as we know it and creating a new world order out of the ashes of the old. The cabal, led by a coldly intelligent mastermind called the Overseer, begins its campaign of terror.

Publishers Weekly
A U.S. agent and a Columbia University professor race to find a 16th-century manuscript in this intriguing debut thriller. Rabb imagines a Swiss monk called Eisenreich, a contemporary of Machiavelli's, who wrote a long-suppressed book called 'On Supremacy', an outline for world conquest that goes far beyond the ruminations of The Prince. When a group of conservative ideologues decides to put a modern version of the plan into action, the task of stopping them falls to undercover agent Sarah Trent (who worked for several members of the right-wing committee's inner sanctum during an earlier phase of her espionage career) and Xander Jaspers, a brilliant young academic who eventually unravels the intricacies of the plan. The cabal is led by the mysterious "overseer" of the title; his minions include a Limbaugh-like demagogue, a brainwashing "educator" in charge of producing footsoldiers to carry out the plan and a prominent conservative financier. Trent and Jaspers are a quirky, entertaining couple, and their hunt for the historical prize incorporates many tightly written scenes (although the scenes in which Trent and Jaspers are captured and recaptured tend to blur together). The satisfying climax reveals the surprising identity of the overseer; meanwhile, there's plenty of intellectual meat in Rabb's description of the origins of the manuscript and the implications of the plan. Using an innovative conceit that combines imaginative brainwork and stirring action scenes, Rabb has given us a thriller worth remembering.

The Overseer - Jonathan Rabb

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