The Watchman of Ephraim by Gerard de Marigny is a thriller set a decade after 9/11.
Cris De Nero’s pregnant wife died in the World Trade Center on 9/11/01. Ten years later, still recovering from the shock, Cris creates The Watchman, a private organization, funded by Cris, a self-made millionaire.
The organization, which is staffed by former members of the military, uses high-tech equipment and expert knowledge to fight terrorism in places the government cannot or will not.
The Watchman of Ephraim is a fast-paced thriller full of intriguing characters and suspense. The dialog is tight and the plot moves along in a fast pace.
The protagonist is a self-made man, a good father and husband. The characters, their interaction and relationships are well defined. The recruiting efforts for The Watchmen are described in a fascinating way and the way the company is transforming under Cris’ leadership could make a book by itself.
There are several themes throughout the novel, patriotism: G-d and country, safety of others, loyalty and ethics being a few. I’d like to have read more about how the protagonist, an ethical smart man, navigates the filthy swamp that we call Washington DC.
The plot is enjoyable and solid, yet somewhat predictable and the main character is somewhat hypocritical (a devout Christian drive by revenge – but it’s not like there aren’t enough precedents of that in history). That being said, I understand that this book is the first of a series and I know that it is always difficult to create an origin story in any medium while keeping the final product down to a manageable size.
This book reminded me of Pandora’s Grave by Stephen England