There's no secret that I loathed the very existence of Andrew (Andrea) Sugar's 'The Enforcer' debut. It's preposterous plotting and dull narrative left a lot to be desired. The pretentious “enforcer” bit never came to fruition, nor did the Mafia or kill contracts per the appetizing front cover. In my review of that series debut, I requested “less spiders in a bag, less laser beams and much better writing” as my definitive closing statement for the jury. Thankfully, my willpower to read the second series entry, “Calling Doctor Kill!”, didn't evaporate as this novel is a pleasant surprise and a fair representation of what I had expected from the series name.
In this novel, protagonist Alex Jason is requested by the institute to infiltrate a complex hospital operated by the mysterious Syndicate. Jason is provided a new body (his brain can transfer bodies every 90 days) and an identity as a new doctor hired by the hospital. The mission is to free Dr. Rosegold, the brilliant mind behind the whole “transferring to a new body” routine. Rosegold is a brilliant entrepreneur with a tremendous skill-set, thus an easy target for the Syndicate. They have him captured in a coma-like state inside the heavily fortified hospital. It's an attempt to pry information on the body transfer process for an overall goal of creating seemingly immortal mobsters. Aim high, shoot high.
In the first novel, Sugar placed Jason in over his head as a combat-heavy jungle soldier without an ounce of military experience. That plodding, lifeless debacle of having him blow up an oil reserve in a banana country was absurd beyond words. In this book, Jason infiltrating a hospital using his brain instead of brawn makes logical sense. Instead of explosives and laser beams, this book is grounded with a solid dose of espionage, a thrilling pace and an effective setting that creates a sense of isolation and forthcoming doom. It's a chilling atmosphere, making Jason's undercover mission compelling, riveting and all-together just a damn fine read. Sugar never misses a beat. “Calling Doctor Kill!” finally showcases this writer's talent as well as a tremendous amount of potential for the series.
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