Conspiracy of Silence by Ronie Kendig
Genre: military, suspense
Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
Date: December 2016
Reviewed by: Elizabeth Olmedo
Fiction Addict Scorecard: A
Former Special Forces Operative Cole “Tox” Russell has spent the past four years under the radar, dead to the world. A fact he relishes. After all, he prefers to be left alone with himself and the haunting memories of the tragic mission that destroyed his career and team. But some ghosts refuse to stay in the past, and Tox is forced to resurface when an ancient plague erupts.
FBI agent Kasey Cortes has loved Cole since she was a young girl. A piece of her died the day, they buried him — only now he’s back, flesh and blood and as volatile as ever. Together, they must jet around the globe in search of answers and a way to stop the disease. When the mission pits them against a secret society with powerful connections and an unknown agenda, the fight will hit close to home.
As the plague expands, the answers they need may lie with the Crown of Jerusalem, an ancient codex. But with some doubting its validity and others going to extreme lengths to keep it hidden, Tox and the team are plunged into a race against time and history.
Ronie Kendig’s Conspiracy of Silence combined elements of romance, faith, suspense, history, and archeology in the intense, action-packed opening to The Tox Files series. While the entire novel pinned me to the edge of my seat, prepare for the ending. Wow! I literally held my breath as a sequence of events culminated with whiplashing speed.
The author intertwined fact and fiction so seamlessly that I couldn’t always tell the difference. I confess that at one point I Googled a certain secret society mentioned in the story and half expected to never be heard from again. Thankfully, I’m still here!
As usual, Kendig brought to life an intriguing and endearing cast. Cole’s tortured soul, Kasey’s loyal heart, Ram’s mysterious ways, and Chiji’s steadfast spirit quickly made them my favorites, but it’s impossible not to love the entire team. The author created some equally infuriating characters that made my blood boil, and one of the villains, couldn’t he just stay down already? I know, I know, we wouldn’t have a story if he did. (As a sidenote: I was fascinated by Kasey’s job description — deception expert — and enjoyed seeing it play out in the novel.)
The mission carried the team across various continents making for some incredible settings — two of which I hold particularly close to my heart.
I would have found a character list at the beginning helpful, especially when it comes to the Special Forces team. Each had a name, last name, and code name. I got a little turned around a few times and reverting to a character list would have been helpful.
Reading the prequel novella, A Warrior’s Seal, isn’t indispensible to understanding this book, but I would recommend starting there since it provides a deeper understanding of Cole’s backstory. And it’s free!
I recommend Conspiracy of Silence to military suspense fans looking for an intense, breath-taking read.