The third installment of Eric Safflind’s Shadowmaster continues to mesmerize as his enigmatic heroes journey into the darker aspects of human nature. With unrelenting intensity and razor-sharp prose he creates a fast-paced thrill ride from start to finish. Shadowmaster III—Star Light, Star Bright is a brooding journey to the edge of the universe—and beyond.
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Long and pleading and filled with terror, a man's scream flooded the sixty-yard corridor. I ran toward that cry for help. Startled faces hung in doorways. Worn incandescent globes shone down from above. They projected a broken yellow stripe on the polished marble floor. Follow the dotted line. It ended at an open doorway flanked by Texas and United States flags.
I charged through. An anteroom—it looked like any of a hundred others in the Cannon House Office Building. A slender brunette standing behind the only desk clutched a phone to her mouth. Her lips quivered.
That piercing cry burst out of the adjacent office. "Help me. Sweet Jesus. Please!"
Spinning left, I lunged toward the sound into a big, elegant room—mahogany crown molding, wall-to-wall oriental rug, huge mahogany desk. The room held a barely perceptible scent, a little like the way air smells after a thunderstorm. I might not have noticed, but the adrenaline rush had jolted every sense into overdrive.
A slender, gray-haired six-footer in a carefully tailored charcoal suit stood behind the desk. His back was to me. He cried out again—his voice now barely intelligible. His speech and body trembled. He turned. Blood streamed down his face. A silver letter opener protruded from his left eye. The blade had been fully buried. Its handle sported the Texas state seal.
The man looked sixty. He had dark prominent eyebrows, pink skin, a few folds and wrinkles, gumdrop of a nose, and a mouth twisted in pain. His good eye jerked left and right, searching for help. It found me. His right hand reached out. He took a step. He staggered. He pitched forward.
Moments later the congressman from the great state of Texas lies dead, the victim of an invisible killer. When police are baffled, the murdered man's friend asks the Shadowmaster to track down the killer.
Adrian Kahler is the Shadowmaster, a psychologist turned detective. He has a Sherlock Holmes intellect, extrasensory perception that rivals Doctor Stephen Strange, and an ability to manipulate computers that even Steve Jobs would envy. From his fortress-like home, high above the Chesapeake Bay, he directs his two operatives. Stanley Egor is a former Navy SEAL who presents the visual impact of a Polish Shaquille O'Neal. Barry Sandler is a young empath, unable to control his evolving gift. He is an everyman caught between two supermen, Kahler with his extrasensory perception and Egor with his lethal SEAL skills. Barry says of himself, "My only useful talent is stubbornness."
The investigation leads to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. There Barry and Egor encounter Joanna Dembrowski, director of the Extraterrestrial Intelligence Project. She is supervising construction of the world's most powerful radio telescope. Her hope is to download knowledge from more advanced civilizations. A lethal knife, wielded by an invisible killer, appears out of nowhere and cuts down Joanna's supporters with bloody slashes. If Joanna's project succeeds, human civilization will be forever altered. It's in Kahler's interest to protect it. To do so, he must pit his intellect and the skills of his two operatives against an adversary as cunning as himself. Joanna is ultimately forced to choose between the good of humanity and her own desperate need. Barry and Egor must fight for their lives against a seemingly invincible enemy.
The third installment of Eric Safflind’s Shadowmaster continues the non-stop action and edge-of-your-seat thrills that are the hallmark of his electrifying, genre-bending series. With unrelenting intensity and razor-sharp prose, Safflind's uncanny ability to ratchet up the tension while deepening his characters’ dilemmas is superb. A fast-paced thrill ride from start to finish, Shadowmaster III—Star Light, Star Bright is a brooding journey to the edge of the universe—and beyond.