In Breakfield and Burkey’s (The Enigma Factor, 2013) latest techno-thriller, a group combats evil in the digital world, with multiple assignments merging in Acapulco and the Cayman Islands.
When Thiago Bernardes’ daughter, Lara, goes missing after their argument, the businessman seeks help from Otto, head of the R-Group. JAC, aka Julie, finds a lead in Acapulco, where fellow group members (and lovers) Jacob and Petra are vacationing. The couple meets Simone and Carlos, the latter of whom hires Jacob to investigate a bank in the Cayman Islands and who, along with his brother Juan, may be responsible for the disappearance of Mexican drug lords and their money. In this, the second book in the Enigma series, the authors churn out a more streamlined narrative; while the first novel was essentially an origin story—dealing mostly with the recruitment of Jacob, who’s a minor player this time around—this volume dives right into the story with already established relationships such as Jacob and Petra’s. From there, the narrative efficiently sets up Carlos and Juan’s failed drug business and their decision to try their hand at laundering drug money. The story boasts strong characters: R-Group hacker Quip and JAC (both of whom are more pivotal to the narrative this time around) and Carlos, whose business ventures pit him in the role of villain but whose later choices—he considers giving up everything for Simone—make him much more commendable. Yet the shadier characters have more impact: Jesus, though Carlos and Juan’s uncle, is introduced holding a knife to Carlos’ throat, and sleazy porn filmmaker Spencer spends much of his time luring (or attempting to lure) women into his movies. Despite the porno subplot, the story is surprisingly tame: Simone’s friend Rita has to explain to Petra what a lap dance is. Strangely, R-Group’s missions are resolved well before the end, and the book’s final act focuses on the romantic connection between Carlos and Simone; Thiago’s attempt to placate board members demanding a successor (he’s waiting for Lara’s return); and an act of revenge that backfires against an R-Group member. Nevertheless, the story will hold readers’ attention until its unsettling conclusion, which once again leaves plenty of room for a sequel.
A definite improvement over the first book in the series.
Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite - 5 Star
The Enigma Rising by Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey is a spellbinding thriller, Book Two in The Enigma Series. The R-Group is a team of highly skilled professionals in information technology, a kind of group with an all-seeing eye and the ability to be a step ahead of the others in the world of information technology. That’s what everyone would think this group is, but when they are hired to locate a missing beautiful girl, the daughter of a very rich client, the group comes into contact with two IT prodigies, brothers Carlos and Juan. Even with the expertise of the two brothers, can the R-Group locate the missing heiress?
Charles V Breakfield and Roxanne E Burkey have created a work that will be adored by anyone who loves technology and thrillers. One immediately feels as though one is reading work from the creators of the most innovative technology themselves, a suggestion that the authors did a lot of research for this story. Although I never read the previous book in the series, I found myself immersed from the very beginning, with the introduction of Thiago and his loss over what to do with his missing daughter, Lara, the beautiful descriptions, and the expert storytelling. The book handles themes that contemporary readers will enjoy enormously. I enjoyed the way technology is presented in this work, but it’s the investigation that will leave most readers breathless. The Enigma Rising is a rare kind of thriller with a bend on sci-fi, a highly entertaining story, a powerful plot and a masterful use of technology.