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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.