cover image A Conspiracy of Ravens

A Conspiracy of Ravens

Terrence McCauley. Polis (PGW, dist.), $16 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-1-943818-71-6

The University, a clandestine organization that has been fighting the forces of evil since WWII, squares off against the Vanguard, the world’s biggest criminal network, in McCauley’s run-of-the-mill third James Hicks thriller (after 2016’s A Murder of Crows). Hicks, who heads the University, has wanted to take on the Vanguard for years, but has never been able to get a line on the weapons-dealing group. When Hicks’s New York City headquarters is destroyed by a Vanguard-guided drone, bits of evidence in the debris give him enough clues to track down its leaders. One by one, operatives on both sides are picked off until the battle comes to a climax on the streets of Berlin. Those who like nonstop action and lots of muscular, snarly talk will have fun, but the brisk pacing leaves no room for characterization, subplots, or backstory. New readers will have to settle for a cursory description of what the University is, and they’ll have little idea why the Vanguard is so evil. [em]Agent: Doug Grad, Doug Grad Literary. (Sept.) [/em]