July 5, 2012

The Hunter Becomes The Hunted

Camacho’s first thriller, The Payback Assignment, disappointed me. He redeemed himself in his second thriller. Orion is packed with as the Electrifying Duo, Morgan Stark and Felicity O’Brien, battle a big, handsome, dangerous Irishman. Unlike the villain in The Payback Assignment, Ian Michael O’Ryan, who got the nick name Orion, after Orion, the great hunter in Greek mythology, while hunting big game in Africa, is bigger than life both physically and mentally.

Felicity’s Uncle Sean Sullivan, the priest of a small village in Ireland, comes to the U. S. to hire Morgan to help stop O’Ryan, whom he considers a terrorist, from recruiting the young men in the village. He believes O’Ryan wants to revive the IRA and restart ”the troubles” (religious wars). He doesn’t want O’Ryan killed, just stopped.

When the Electrifying Duo arrive in the village, Morgan, a Black man in Ireland, knows he’ll have to out drink and out fight the biggest dude in the pub to be accepted. He challenges and defeats Max Grogan in arm wrestling and drinking contests, thus becoming a hero to the patrons.

Once he is comfortable with the residents of the village, he and Felicity devise plans to stop O’Ryan. She devises the first of three plans. O’Ryan gets money he needs for his operation in Ireland from organizations that sponsor terrorism. She cleans out his bank accounts, which lack of ready cash puts him in a bind. Sorry, to explain how she does it would be a spoiler.

Morgan directs the operation to deprive O’Ryan of arms he has bought for a Middle Eastern terrorist. When the shipment arrives on the Irish coast, with the help a group of gypsies among whom Felicity lived after running away from home when she was 16, he makes sure the arms will not get to O’Ryan. O’Ryan must refund the customer’s money.

To get the money, he enters a motorcycle race in France, which he has never lost. Morgan enters the race under the Seagrave Industries sponsorship and riding one of their bikes. His objective is not to win but to make sure O’Ryan loses. Of course he knows O’Ryan will have his henchmen station along the course to take out any rider in the lead. A fact that spices up the scenes of the race.

O’Ryan doesn’t take Morgan’s interference very well. His men later ambush Morgan, who takes out three of them before they subdue him. O’Ryan holds Morgan on an island off the coast of southern France. Believing Morgan works for a government agency, he enjoys torturing him to try to get him to reveal which agency.

With her partner missing, Felicity goes into action. She doesn’t accept the possibility that he might be dead. he is too far away for her to sense his presence. But she is able from the direction in which the van fled to start out on the trial. She and Paul continue to the coast until she senses she is close, and learns about an isolate island. Once she is on the island and inside the house, she tangles with O’Ryan.

But it isn’t over. As Felicity is wheeling Morgan out of the hospital, they feel danger but too late to get back in the hospital. A man named Youssef and his henchmen stop them. The electrifying duo, Claudette, and Paul face their guns. Youssef was O’Ryan’s customer and now he blames Morgan for causing him to lose the weapons. Again, I can’t be a spoiler.

Camacho makes sure his readers are on the side of good when he has O’Ryan suggest that Morgan is no different from him—both are in a way mercenaries. However, Morgan considers what he does—helping other honest folks—as an honor. O’Ryan’s terrorist activities are about power. Orion is better than The Payback Assignment because it is better plotted and the villain is more worthy of the Electrifying Duo’s many talents.

The introduction of O’Ryan’s customer at the end disappointed me. It was a loose end that didn’t need wrapping up.