cover image A Murder of Crows

A Murder of Crows

Terrence McCauley. Polis (PGW, dist.), $15 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-1-943818-11-2

McCauley’s mildly diverting sequel to 2015’s Sympathy for the Devil continues the story of intelligence operative James Hicks, who works for the super-secret agency known as the University. The group was established by President Eisenhower to work under deep cover and supply intelligence to more well-known agencies. In the present day, Hicks’s capture of a Moroccan terrorist, Mehdi Bajjah, puts the University in danger of being exposed. He goes on the run from the Defense Intelligence Agency as well as the CIA and the NSA. The University’s primary piece of technology is their optimized mechanical and network integration (OMNI) protocol, which allows their operatives to eavesdrop on any phone in the world and hack into any computer anywhere. OMNI is so powerful that anytime a University player gets in trouble, good old OMNI is there to bail that person out, significantly lowering the suspense level. Bajjah’s confession leads Hicks along a convoluted path to the super-terrorist Jabbar and a lukewarm confrontation. [em]Agent: Doug Grad, Doug Grad Literary. (July) [/em]