“Deep Black” by Sean McFate is the follow up to the first novel of the series, “Shadow War.” It brings back the protagonist Tom Locke, a missionary with a conscience. “Shadow War” was an intense action-packed story, while this one concentrates more on the global politics.
The different style between books is explained by McFate, “I hoped to write the series as a memoir when I was a mercenary in Africa. My agent told me that I could be sued so I should fictionalize it. Because I never wrote fiction, Bret Witter, who wrote ‘The Monuments Men,’ was brought on board to teach me the craft. In ‘Shadow War’ we shared the pen, while with ‘Deep Black’ I did the majority of writing. Most of the book was me except the first chapters that he edited. The third book will be solo, just me.”
Locke is hired to find a missing Saudi prince who has ties to ISIS. The mission becomes increasingly delicate when it appears that the missing prince is part of a larger plot revolving around a faction of the Saudi royal family that’s attempting to buy a nuclear weapon from Pakistan. The author takes readers inside the Saudi Royal Family showing how in the Middle East the Shite and Sunni factions are not loyal to the government, but have their own allegiance to their tribe.
The secondary plot continues where the first book left off, with Locke’s former boss Brad Winters searching for him as well as competing to find the Prince. McFate noted, “The confrontation with Brad gets resolved in the next book. Locke will return home to America and must track down those who plot to assassinate a high level political person.”
Terrorists, mercenaries, Special Forces, and an ancient war between the Shia and Sunni regimes are explored in this novel. Anyone wanting to understand the fight for the Saudi Royal throne along with the mind of a mercenary should read this story.