Signs of War

Signs of War

Author: Gerard de Marigny

Reviewed by Fran Lewis



Undercover agent Felix Salazar is not one to take his job lightly. Observing actions instead of acting on them is not what makes him a great agent. His new boss has him watching Iranian ships and informing the agency only when they come to port. Told not board the ships and wait for further orders does not play well with this agent. Realizing that there was much more to what was happening he decides to follow one caravan one evening and learns much more than he thought possible. Realizing that the Iranians had just sent a huge shipment of medium –range missiles to Venezuelan port closest to the United States alarms go off and he decides to do something other than sitting back and waiting for something to happen. Cris De Niro, the main character of the Watchman of Ephraim and the head of the Watchman Agency are back in another geo-political thriller that will send author Gerard de Marigny once again to the top of the bestseller lists. Cris De Niro and his new counter terrorism team come back for more. But, not before hard decisions have been made, a friend is remembered after losing his life and Cris needs to decide whether to continue on with his agency or not.  Charley Santappia, De Niro’s agency’s Vice President of Operations lost his life in order to save others. At his funeral Cris announces that he might not want to continue on with his mission and his agency. Shocked and upset they hope he can be dissuaded. Attached to the Watchman Agency is a paramilitary team called Archangel, which played an integral part in helping to save the United States from a nuclear attack after September 11.


Guilt weighs heavily on Cris until one member of his team remind him of his true goals and the fact that if Charley had not done what he did many others would have died. But, Cris has to decide his course of action next and just what the future of his agency will be. Added into the mix again is Dr. Moriah Stevens who cares for him more deeply than he does for her.


Agent Felix Salazar boarded an Iranian cargo vessel and decided to look at the cargo. Realizing that this was not an ordinary shipment he decided to investigate on his own. What he learned would definitely put our country on high alert but his immediate superior you might say told him to stand down. When the Iranian ship made port it was met by a Venezuelan contingent along with two very high-ranking officers of the Iranian Revolutionary Army. Not wanting to stand down or wait until something tragic happens he contacts his former employer and boss at Langley, Michelle Wang. Wang is now part of the Watchman Team headed by Cris De Niro. Explaining to Michelle that he is positive that a shipment of Iranian medium-range missiles and received and tracked to a Venezuelan port which happens to be too close to the Unite States. Hoping De Niro will get involved. Solution: send Salazar back to Venezuela to do his real job of just watching for illegal shipments under cover for his agency but with backup from Archangel.  But, there is much more. Dangerous, deadly and definitely a force no one wants to come up against known as Scipio- man in black- was added to the family of the Watchman to replace Charley as head of Archangel. With his skills and his knowledge they hope things will get done but he states only his way. Which brings up what happens next as many other signs of war such as this one come to light in this outstanding second novel by the author the Watchman of Ephraim.


David Nicholls is a long time friend of De Niro who calls him with a pressing and dire situation. Explaining that two British citizens have been kidnapped by Somali pirates and unfound, he needs his help to try and rescue them. Ransom asked and would definitely be paid but the strange part is the kidnappers leave no way for anyone to contact them or pay it. Enter De Niro who does not want to sacrifice any more men but they volunteer and along with Ricci, himself and Golden would set out to find them but Scipio as the head of Archangel states he should be included and head the search. But, there is more. Unusual border infiltration and activity at the crossing leading to the Tohono O’odham Nation’s reservation and agent Bryan Ahiga is concerned and needs the help of De Niro’s watchman. His superiors need concrete evidence that this is happening and he does not trust him. He wants his sources revealed and brought in for questioning and with the massacre of the Shadow of Wolves too many of their best warriors perished. Infiltration of the Indian tribe, missiles and two men missing and much more to come as we try and tie all of this together and wonder if these are the only Signs of War to come or are there more.


Learning more about what is happening at the reservation’s border we learn that soldiers of Tuco Ramirez’s Pacifico Drug Cartel are the ones crossing the border into the reservation. As head of the DHS/ICE Shadow Wolves Bryan needs help and does not have the manpower to defend his position.


As decisions are made and discussions ensue the manpower is disbursed for each of the three missions they are to handle. But, then something changes it all and one man calls with an urgent message and ICE shows up at his ship’s door and things take on another complexion. Stating the reason they are going to Sells and that he was being made an honorary member of the tribe, De Niro does not realize, as yet, what Agent Strom’s true motives are and who he is working for. Lies, betrayals, deceit and greed are just part of the deception this man hides behind as Bryan’s life is on the line and how Cris and his agency have to try and safe his life and many others before it is too late. Tuco Ramirez is one powerful drug lord and with the help of certain people hopes to be able to cross the border without any problems. What they have planned for De Niro and his men you will have to read for yourself. Will they succeed? That remains to be seen as I continue my review of Signs of War.  Selling drugs for profit and using the reservation as his pipeline and selling drugs in large bulk in the United States would make this drug kingpin rich and those on the take too.


The Somali pirates would learn a lesson that they would not live to remember and one man on their crew just might come back to seek revenge as the man in Black handles the situation and eliminated a serious threat.


Felix gets transferred to the port at Punta Cardon and meets with the staff but their suspicions of him run high even though the Captain extends what appears as a hand of friendship. Returning to Bryan and his situation next. Dropping his phone caused many lives as he and another member of his tribe watched many total massacres of his people that he could not stop. As he contacted the Watchman and got Ricci on the phone he saw headlights coming toward him, dropped the phone and the end result was tragic.


As we now return to Felix and his job of infiltrating the port he enlists the help of others to find out more about Jetty One, why he cannot get access to it and how he will stop a possible missile attack of Shahab 4 missiles aimed at the United States. Those that are supposed to help him should not question him but did. Some doubt his knowledge and what he is trying to do and others would learn that he is not one to be crossed.


As De Niro and his men sat and waited patiently in their hotel room almost being held hostage until they decide to strike. How they saved the hostages you won’t believe and how they escaped the hotel was better than any episode of 24 or CSI. Descriptive, intense and hard nosed characters that are relentless in their pursuit of protecting America and their friends. Then the unthinkable happens and Salazar’s cover is blown. What happens you have to read for yourself as this one brave man chances his life in order to protect some many others? The missiles are discovered and how the Watchman move to protect our country is more than just heroic. Betrayals, loyalties, bravery, many lives lost and one objective in mind: America’s SAFETY and courses our freedom. Will they succeed? Will De Niro be released as those that betrayed our country are now holding him?


Will the drug cartel’s leader be able to get those drugs into America? What the end result will be you just won’t believe. The suspense is high the tensions run deep, the injuries are many and the what finally happens I will never reveal as I just inducted myself as an honorary member of the Watchman who makes sure that no reviews have spoilers and no one ever divulges the ending. The deal is made will stun you. The result well let’s just say one drug lord will learn whose in charge and a powerful much more. What will happen next and where will our outstanding author take his men? You will have to wait for the next in the series to come out but first I would recommend that you go to Barnes and Noble and buy this one.




Fran Lewis: reviewer











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