“To be prepared against surprise is to be trained. To be prepared for surprise is to be educated.” – James P Carse
Author Richard Dawes’ novel ‘Jack Slade – Power Stalker’ brings back the swashbuckling hero Jack Slade in a new adventure story. The Demon Hunter is never too far from action, and it soon finds him in plenty when he gets stranded in the rundown southern Arizona town of Cochise ruled by a vicious drug cartel, which is in fact controlled by vampires! And unknown to Slade, an evil storm is brewing in Mexico because a dark power the likes of which the world has never seen has broken through from the other side and is threatening to destroy the world. As the sky darkens and the sun turns blood-red, Slade must partner with a vampire vixen to neutralize their common enemy and bring order to the world.
As always, it’s difficult to slot a Richard Dawes novel into a particular genre, and this is especially true of the Jack Slade series. It is equal parts supernatural thriller, commentary on culture, and a strong character study about an anti-hero. Then there’s romance and an interplay between masculine and feminine values, a spiritual element and of course the action - the fast-paced never-ending action! In short, Power Stalker is a haunting read, exhilarating and beautifully composed to the very last page.
Jack Slade is the ultimate hero, a man who walks among us like he is one of us, a beacon of hope, and a model of honor and courage for the rest of us. He does amazing things not because he feels he is the right man for the job, far from it, but because he was guided to it by a higher power. You could say he was chosen for the life he leads. He doesn’t lust after power, so when he uses it, he does it sparingly and justly. Slade’s occult gifts, his intelligence, fighting prowess, and self-effacing off-beat humor, makes him one of the most interesting characters in popular fiction today.
Power Stalker breaks down into two parts. Although they dove-tail perfectly, they can also exist as two individual stories. In the town of Cochise, he is sentenced to death by the Los Hermanos drug cartel for getting involved in their business. You have to wonder if these people were so busy moving drugs and illegals across the Mexican-American border that they didn’t take time to watch a movie like John Wick. If they had, they wouldn’t have gotten between a man and his dog. Some people never learn!
Along the way Slade meets some very interesting characters. The women in this story, Conchita and Elena, are so different and yet so alike. They represent the duality one sees in women everywhere. He also meets a father-son duo who aid him in his quest. As is constant in this series, Slade is forced to resort to lethal violence to keep moving toward his ultimate goal. I won’t reveal any more details other than to say that this is one of the best novels in the series.
Power Stalker tries to answer some of the deepest questions about life but keeps just enough unknown so the mystery is still there to seek...after all, that is the journey.
Jack Slade is an endearing and likable character, and more than anything else, he has been the reason for the success of the series. And for fans of the series, Power Stalker will definitely satisfy them.
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC; First edition (May 29, 2018)