The man that John Taylor knew as Shaman Bond is actually Eddie Drood, a man whose family is despised in Supernatural circles because for many, many milennia, they kept order, pledging themselves to be the protectors of humanity. Possessors of Golden Torcs that could form themselves into indestructible armor and weapons, they were often the last line of defense against the bad things of the cosmos.
But all that power came at a Price. Eddie discovered that the power that made the Torcs was itself an evil fugitive, and that the cost of owning and possessing the Torcs came at the cost of every Drood being a twin, one of which was sacrificed to the entity to power the Torc. And since they had never been raised to never question where the power for all this came from, the Droods were themselves serving something that they would have deemed a danger to humanity had it served anyone else.
Eddie fought a war to free his family from this entity's malign influence, unwittingly with the aid of another member of the Entity's race, a cop to its criminal aspect. He was also aided by Molly Metcalf, a witch who was once a foe of his family. But Eddie is the only one of his family who seems to have both a true sense of honor and the ability to question the status quo and what everyone believes to be, and Molly who once would have despised him for his name and out of principal, found herself having feelings for him and is his girlfriend.
After a facing down an imposter that was pretending to be Molly Metcalf's sister, Isabelle, Eddie was killed. But he isn't actually really dead. Instead, he's in Limbo, and Limbo appears to him like his family's home, only empty, deserted, and full of shadows and shades, all of whom want his family's secrets. While there, he discovers that his parents, long thought dead, are actually still alive. Someone has lied to him, but who, and why?
While in Limbo, he discovers evidence that another Great Satanic conspiracy is brewing, and he and Molly go to investigate it, and while they are in the business that serves as the Conspiracy's HQ, they encounter Molly's sister Isabelle, the real one this time, who is also investigating the Conspiracy. While Molly may have mellowed with regards to Eddie and his family, Isabella still hates the Droods, and despite Molly vouching for him, she is still unsure. And while Eddie may have had doubts about the Satanists rising once again, after their visit with the Satanists, he is certain that Isabella and the spirit in Limbo were right- there is definitely something they are doing, and they are planning a great Sacrifice to bring back one of the baddest of the Big Bads- and with only Eddie, Molly and his family, which still harbors a traitor, to stand against them. Can the Droods prevail?
I started reading Simon Green with his Hawk and Fisher series back in the day, and I loved him even more for the John Taylor books. To be honest, when I first started reading this series, I considered Eddie a poor substitute for John Taylor, but now that I read about him more and more, I find him growing on me. I have also discovered the similarities between Eddie and John Taylor, and, for that matter, all of Simon Green's other heroes.
Each of these characters conforms to the stereotype of the "Last Honest Man", or perhaps the "Last Honorable Man". In other words, in a world full or dishonesty, bigotry, corruption and betrayal, all of these characters alone stick to their honor. Them being truthful and honorable and keeping their word is what sets them apart from everyone else, and they stick to their convictions. Anyone else can be moved and fall, but Simon Green's main characters never do. Even if, as Eddie, they come from a family that is doing evil, wittingly or un, they alone will stand out, call a spade a spade and fight for the right, because that is who they are.
And once again in this book, that is Eddie all over again. He's determined to do what's right, and to drag the rest of his family into doing the same, just because it is right, and if he uncovers lies and betrayal, he'll do his best to put it right, and that happens both with the family traitor, and with the truth about the survival of his parents, that also seems to be coming as well. But even though Eddie is the same kind of hero as John Taylor, there are still distinct characters, and Eddie is a bit more of a sarcastic, humorous character than John Taylor is. I only wonder if they will encounter each other again in the future. (And now that Eddie knows that his family is alive, will he use John to locate them?)
An interesting and action-filled book that I really enjoyed, I can't wait to read the next installment and find out what is going on with Eddie's parents and why they let everyone believe that they were dead for so long. I don't know the answer, but it's sure to be interesting, and I'm looking forward to it. Recommended.