- Publication date:1 August 2012
- Format:B format paperback
- Genre: science fiction
- Age guide: Older Readers, 12+
By Paul Collins
Book 2 in The Maximus Black Files
In a galaxy of cutthroat companies, shadowy clans and a million agendas, spy agency RIM barely wields enough control to keep order.
Maximus Black is RIM’s star cadet. But he has a problem. One of RIM’s best agents, Anneke Longshadow, knows there’s a mole in the organisation. And Maximus has a lot to hide.
Cover designed by Grant Gittus.
Jenny Mounfield –
In 2011 the evil, enigmatic, psychopathic megalomaniac, Maximus Black, exploded onto our shelves in Mole Hunt. Trained to kill in a variety of gruesome, yet thoroughly inventive ways, Black is intent on universal domination and will settle for nothing less. But the blacker than black-hearted Black is a master of manipulation and misdirection, rendering those around him blind to his motives—all, that is, except for fellow RIM agent, Anneke Longshadow who’s had Black pegged from the start.
Commandeering Dyson’s Drop—the location of the Dyson jump gates, which can transport travellers to any point in the galaxy—is part of Black’s plan. There are also a set of coordinates to be found, and for the galaxy’s sake let’s hope Black doesn’t get to them first. Thankfully he has competition—and the tenacious terrier Anneke Longshadow snapping at his heels.
Collins has artfully woven a deceptively simple, yet emotionally complex tale of vengeance told through alternating chapters from Black and Longshadow’s viewpoints. Black is anything but an evil cliché hungry for power as one might expect. I found myself liking him as much as I loathed him, and I still can’t pinpoint exactly why that is. Perhaps it’s that he is so utterly alone, and despite his obvious cunning and intelligence, still very much a child.
Anneke Longshadow is everything Black isn’t, yet paradoxically she understands him the way no one else can. Equally matched in brains and skill their fight is an eternal one. The contrast and similarities between these two is why this story works so well.
Although set in the distant future, this is a classic and timeless story that will appeal to teens and adults alike. The pace is relentless, the attention to detail spot on and the stakes couldn’t be higher.