I’ve been reading the Phoenix/Olympus Project series from the first book. As an avid fan, I am happy to review the most recent book, Something Wicked Draws Near: The Phoenix Series Book 7 by Ted Tayler. This installment picks up after Phoenix and Athena are married and introduces Olympus to a new and growing threat, The Grid. This organization is led by a wealthy and completely corrupt madman, Hugo Hanigan. Originally from Dublin and formerly named Ardal James Hannon, Hanigan has managed to elevate himself and his bank to the upper echelons of British finance. Using his wealth and power, he hopes to unite the many criminal organizations in Britain and Europe under his umbrella. Using violence perpetrated by various crime families from diverse cultural groups, he gains ground in his quest for power.
However, when one of The Grid’s crime family leaders is convicted of murder, Hanigan immediately seeks revenge. Determined to advertise his strength to both law enforcement and citizenry, he releases his minions to punish the judge and jury. Tommy O’Riordan may be in prison, but Hanigan will exact vengeance for the incarcerated Irishman.
Olympus is primed to learn the identity of this new criminal threat and put their researchers on the case. Little by little Phoenix and Rusty take on the attackers, growing ever closer to the head of the organization.
Book seven is ripe with reprehensible characters that will stop at nothing to fulfill their master’s demands. Once again, Tayler takes the reader to the dark underbelly of Britain and Europe. Pulling together criminals engaged in crimes from human trafficking to drug manufacturing and dealing all the way to intimidation and murder, Tayler stirs up the countryside and sends out his heroes to get things cleaned up.
Interspersed with the action are the daily interactions of Phoenix and Athena and their baby Hope, Rusty and his lover Artemis, and all the other members who reside at Larcombe Manor. Tayler does an excellent job of balancing the battles with “normal life”. From the bad guys to the victims, the characters are well developed and worthy of attention.
The book ends on something of a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to read the further exploits of both the vigilantes and the criminals they hope to defeat. Great job Mr. Tayler! Keep the stories coming!