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The Nemesis Manifesto: Evan Ryder #1    by Eric Van Lustbader order for
Nemesis Manifesto
by Eric Van Lustbader
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Eric Van Lustbader writes wild and woolly international thrillers, often with mystical elements - from his Bourne novels to his Testament series, and even an unusual fantasy series, The Pearl. Now he introduces a new secret agent heroine, Evan Ryder, whose exploits made me think of Wonder Woman.

Evan is a field agent who works for a black-ops arm of the U.S. Department of Defense. As the thriller opens, readers meet two Russians (SVR Gorgonov and GRU General Boyko) discussing her - she's been too good at her job. One of them wants to kill her, the other to turn her or use her for disinformation.

Boyko runs the cyber-hacking Nemesis project, deploying AI bots to feed the Internet with lies, 'fomenting the widening split in the American psyche.' They target Evan's boss Benjamin Butler as bait to catch her.

The US Secretary of Defense is a Moscow asset and soon the White House is issuing propaganda 'emanated from various branches of the Russian secret service', while a 'poorly educated slice of the country, easily led and manipulated, eats up what they're selling - the resurgence of white America.'

The story moves back and forth between Moscow and Washington politicking and violent action involving Evan and fellow agents - with frequent, serious injuries, none of which slow her down in the least! As expected, she survives to the end, and even reunites in Sumatra with a very old friend, who shares with her a shocking new secret.

The Nemesis Manifesto is an entertaining read, centered on cyber-hacking by the Russians, something that we know is happening in real life - I hope not nearly as successfully as is depicted here!

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