THE CHURCHILL CONSPIRACY

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It’s the summer of 2005, and train bombings rock London. DI David Sharp of the anti-terrorist squad is on the case, which now includes an explosion on a double-decker bus. He spots discrepancies almost immediately—conflicting witness statements and amateur bomb makers using military-grade explosives. “There’s something not right about this investigation,” he says. Anonymous texts validate his speculation and point Sharp to the possibility of a worldwide conspiracy. It sounds crazy until the DI scours the internet and connects the London attacks with ones in other countries, like 9/11 and the Madrid train bombings. A mysterious figure comes forward and tells Sharp of a secret group operating for centuries that’s likely had its hands in wars, political assassinations, and myriad coverups. These powerful people have a sinister plan already cooking that will devastate the world population. Sharp vows to stop them, but as a proficient assassin in Britain takes out nosy individuals threatening the group, the DI may be next on the hit list. Macpherson’s series opener dives deep into the conspiracy, checking off the group’s trademarks—from media manipulation to hidden messages—and nodding to real-life tragedies, corporations, and political leaders. The story nevertheless moves at a steady pace; Sharp continuously stumbles on new mysteries; the cryptic baddies’ growing presence elevates suspense; and action ignites the final act. At the same time, the narrative perspective shifts in the latter half, most notably to the frighteningly calculated and lethal assassin in Britain. Ultimately, Sharp gets a strong hint regarding the group’s origin that he’s uncharacteristically slow to pick up on. It’s a curious turn that may push the series to another genre, though Macpherson keeps this entertaining book grounded in espionage terrain.

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