cover image Extinction Machine

Extinction Machine

Jonathan Maberry. St. Martin’s Griffin, $15.99 trade paper (464p) ISBN 978-0-312-55221-3

Fifth in the Joe Ledger series (after Assassin’s Code), this fast-paced and somewhat tongue-in-cheek thriller sees the cop–turned–government agent facing off against conspiracy theorists, men in black, and futuristic weapons, with the fate of the world at stake. Joe is recalled from a well-deserved day off after a series of nigh-impossible cyber attacks culminate with the disappearance of the president. To save him, Joe and the Department of Military Sciences must track down the semimythical Majestic Black Book and put a stop to the secret economy of retro-engineering salvaged alien technology. Maberry digs deep into the body of lore concerning UFO conspiracy theories, fusing it with the anything-goes sensibilities of a series that’s previously pitted Joe against vampires and zombies. While there’s a kitchen-sink feel to the story’s various components, it somehow holds together in the end. Agent: Sara Crowe, Harvey Klinger. (Mar.)