Nighthawk: African Ice

Fiction - Thriller - Terrorist
318 Pages
Reviewed on 07/26/2015
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers' Favorite

In C. Edgar North’s second book of the Nighthawk series, Nighthawk: African Ice picks up the saga of the criminal dealings of Russian arms dealer Igor Romanoff and the ex-Navy Seal gone bad, Chief Joseph Branson of the Midlake Canadian Indian Tribe. These partners in crime rebound quickly after the destruction of their drug lab and weapons manufacturing plant in the Maldives. Their illegal activities spread to Africa. They begin trading raw, blood diamonds known as “African Ice” for arms deals. This endeavor, although dangerous, proves profitable. There is an uprising brewing in Central Africa; an extreme jihadist group is taking advantage of weak governments and forming a new caliphate. For Igor and Joseph, there is money to be made on both sides of the rebellion. As a wanted man, Chief Joseph is unable to return to Canada. The business escapades in Africa keep him busy traveling the world, making drug and arms deals. Therefore, in his stead, Hazel, his wife, returns to Canada with plans to run for chief. She discovers a plan to usurp her authority. She seems harmless, but soon the community learns the lesson “don’t mess around with Hazel.” Meanwhile, those in the Pentagon are keeping a tight vigil on Igor and Joseph, hoping to catch the “big fish.”

As in his first novel of the Nighthawk series, C Edgar North’s imagery is wonderful in Nighthawk: African Ice. His character descriptions paint vivid portraits, enhanced by larger than life personality traits. His settings are well described. North takes the reader all over the world, keeping the plot action moving. North knows his weapons and their uses, and descriptions are included with ease. I found the in-depth information on gem processing and the diamond industry intriguing. It brought a tangible angle to the narrative’s plot.

Nighthawk: African Ice is a narrative about the life of wealthy, egocentric sociopaths. There is an undercurrent of nonchalance about illegal activities - sleazy escorts, drugs, blood diamonds, smuggling and murder are depicted as laissez-faire. Moreover, there is an absurd double standard mindset in the main characters. The central focus of plot was the criminal activity, with minimal movement from the lawful side. I kept wondering when justice would be served. However, there is a slight taste of justice in the cliffhanger ending. I will be anxiously awaiting answers to the many unanswered questions in North’s next release, Nighthawk: Chief Hazel.

Michelle Stanley

Nighthawk: African Ice is a thriller by C. Edgar North. Chief Joseph Branson of the Midlake Indian Tribe escapes FBI murder and smuggling charges by fleeing to the Maldives with his wife, Hazel. They stay with arms dealer and business partner, Igor Romanoff, on his yacht. Danger awaits as the partners’ drug lab in the Maldives explodes, killing workers. The two form an agreement with Maldivian officials to overlook the impending charges and exchange weapons for blood diamonds. Joseph travels to Columbia to help drug lords convert their barn loads of cash to diamonds and comes under attack by militants. Meanwhile, Hazel returns to the reservation and learns that kids on the reservation are dropping out of school and using drugs. She decides to eradicate the problem, but someone dislikes Hazel’s interference and plots her demise. Unknown to the friends, their activities are closely watched by the CIA and other interested parties.

African Ice included relevant information at specific sections from Crossing, the first book in the Nighthawk Series that made me aware of previous events, and piqued my interest enough to put Crossing on my reading list. African Ice is an exciting, fast-paced terrorist thriller by C. Edgar North containing a lot of action and drama that shows how ruthless, double-dealing, greedy, and corrupt political and underworld figures can be when negotiating deals “on behalf” of their countries. The Bransons who enjoy lavish business trips also amused me because they behave very unpretentiously. The author has written a gripping novel.