FeaturedMystery & Crime

Cabal

By

Loved it! 😍

A terrorist bombing and the death of a homeless man have odd ties on opposite sides of Canada. Cal Rogan discovers a deep-rooted plot.

Synopsis

On the same day, two thousand miles apart, a woman dies in a terrorist bombing and a homeless man is beaten to death. How could their deaths possibly be connected?

Reluctantly, Cal agrees to investigate the homicide of a homeless man, known only as Wily, who was beaten to death on the streets of Vancouver. Somehow, his investigation triggers the attention of an intelligence officer in the Security Intelligence Service and suddenly Cal and his partner, Nick, find themselves targets. But targets of whom? The deeper they dig, the more they are thwarted by a highly efficient but hidden organization. Follow Cal and Nick from the drug-infested streets to the highest corridors of power, as they uncover a crime that is staggering in its audacity and magnitude.

Get this stunning new addition to the Cal Rogan series now.

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Robert P. French for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.


Having binge-read all four previous books by Robert P. French in as many days, I was eager to get my hands on this latest novel in the Cal Rogan series. When a terrorist bomb explodes in Ottawa, the reverberations can be felt as far away as Vancouver. Cal Rogan is approached by one of his friends from his life on the streets, asking that he look into finding the next of kin for a fellow homeless man who was recently killed. Rogan agrees, knowing that this will be a pro bono case, something he will have to sell to his partner. At Stammo Rogan Investigations, Nick Stammo is meeting with a man whose wife has a habit of disappearing weekly for unknown reasons. After meeting together, Stammo and Rogan pursue their cases, only to discover a connection between the dead homeless man and the terrorist attack in Ottawa. Further documents on the man’s possession show that there may have been illegal goings-on at the top of the Canadian Government. While Stammo follows his own leads, he discovers something equally disturbing and a woman roped into staying quiet. As Rogan and Stammo work to reveal just how sinister things are within the Canadian Government, their lives are thrust into danger, alongside an intelligence officer and a journalist who knows how to press just the right buttons. The safety of all involved hang in the balance in this stunning crime thriller that exemplifies how some use power to pursue nefarious actions. French continues to impress with this series, sure to pull any curious reader into the middle of something exciting. Recommended to those who love crime thrillers with a political twist, as well as those who enjoy something with a little more Canadian flavour.


Any good series deserves some binge reading and Robert P. French’s novels surely rank above some of the best I have read for a long time. Over the past few days, I have learned a great deal about Cal Rogan and his rise back to a degree of normalcy, but also the constant blips on the screen when it comes to his family and the heroin habit that haunts him. Rogan seems to have accepted that he will never be able to find solace with his ex-wife and daughter, as he thrusts them into constant danger no matter what happens. He keep in touch as best he can, but is also willing to move forward and find new sparks in his life. Those sparks are tempered with a return to heroin, something that can be attributed to the loss of his family. However, Rogan will not set aside his passion to help others, pursuing mysteries wherever they lead him. This was the most harrowing story in the series to date, seeing Rogan head to the nation’s capital to track down a killer and collection of villains whose entire purpose is the cause havoc. Nick Stammo remains a strong secondary characters as well, coming out of his shell but also putting himself at risk to the extreme. There are other key characters who place writhing the book could surely enhance the series, should they stick around. That being said, any solo character appearance in this piece enriches the narrative and adds depth to the various plots. The story remained as strong as any other French novel and kept moving at a break-neck pace, only adding to the reader’s enjoyment. With a mix of perspectives woven into the different chapters, I am eager to see what else French has to come, keeping the reader on the edge of their seats while injecting some harrowing plots throughout. This is definitely strong thriller writing with a Canadian flavour, something I thoroughly enjoy. I hope others will take the time to enjoy this series as well.


Kudos, Mr. French, for another explosive thriller. I am eager to see what else Cal Rogan and Nick Stammo might face, allowing me to further my interest in this series.


Reviewed by

I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention.

While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.

Synopsis

On the same day, two thousand miles apart, a woman dies in a terrorist bombing and a homeless man is beaten to death. How could their deaths possibly be connected?

Reluctantly, Cal agrees to investigate the homicide of a homeless man, known only as Wily, who was beaten to death on the streets of Vancouver. Somehow, his investigation triggers the attention of an intelligence officer in the Security Intelligence Service and suddenly Cal and his partner, Nick, find themselves targets. But targets of whom? The deeper they dig, the more they are thwarted by a highly efficient but hidden organization. Follow Cal and Nick from the drug-infested streets to the highest corridors of power, as they uncover a crime that is staggering in its audacity and magnitude.

Get this stunning new addition to the Cal Rogan series now.

Annalise

Why is she late? She’s never late. Ever since I’ve known her she’s always been on time. I check my watch again. Over ten minutes. Maybe I should call or text. I clutch my purse closer. It doesn’t feel any different, despite the explosive nature of the contents. How did I get mixed up in this? I’m in so far over my head. I should have told Sally days ago.

I’m sure the security guard sensed something was wrong when I left the building. Sure, he smiled at me when I passed his desk but maybe he knows. Maybe someone checked Neil’s emails.

If only I hadn’t— Oh, it’s no use rehashing the whole thing and playing the blame game.

Where is she?

A text! I remove my glove and feel the bite of the Ottawa winter as I rummage in my purse. Because of my hat, sunglasses and scarf, the phone doesn’t recognize my face, which is kind of the point. My hands tremble as I enter my passcode. Her text reads, I’m just parking. It’s her second text. I must have missed the first one. It says, Got delayed by a call from my boss. Had to take it.

Thank God. I need to get the papers into her hands. She’ll know what to do. She always knows what to do. A problem shared and all that. It was a crazy idea sending them to Denis. How could he possibly be of any use? What was I thinking? I should have come to her in the first place.

There are a few people walking along the canal—all bundled up against the cold and on their way to an early lunch, no doubt—but I’m the only one sitting on a bench. I turn to look towards the ramp leading into the Rideau Centre parking; no sign of her yet. Then I see the young man. His face seems vaguely familiar. He sits on the next bench over from me and shuffles off his heavy backpack. There is a length of string protruding from the middle compartment. His jacket is definitely not made for a Canadian December and he seems to be trembling. I can’t help feeling sorry for him. He looks like he’s a new immigrant and it’s likely his first encounter with our snowy winters. He looks middle-eastern. Maybe he was a refugee. Who knows what he may have gone through to get to the safety of Canada.

He cuts a look at me and gives me a shy smile. No, not shy. Embarrassed maybe. I give him a smile back. I want to reach out to him. Say something welcoming; tell him the winters aren’t so bad once you get used to them. Maybe I should tell him where he can get a good winter jacket, without paying an arm and a leg for it.

But before I can say anything, I see her; she’s crossing the street towards me. Relief floods in and, with a quick smile to the young man, I stand and walk to her. She wraps me in a big hug and for the first time in five days, I feel safe. Thank God she’s here. We just stand hugging in the middle of the sidewalk, people passing on either side of us.

Suddenly she tenses.

I pull back and look at her face.

She’s scared.

I turn and follow her gaze.

Five meters away the young man is on his feet clutching his backpack to his chest and holding the string sticking out of it.

Sally pushes me aside and shouts “NOOOO!” as she runs at him.

He yells, “ALLĀHU AKBAR.”

He looks at me, his lips say one word, ‘Sorry.’

As she is about to barrel into him he pulls the string.

About the author

I am a former software developer, turned actor, turned author. The Cal Rogan mysteries are set in Vancouver, Canada and, I hope, reflect the best and worst of the city. view profile

Published on December 19, 2019

80000 words

Contains explicit content ⚠️

Worked with a Reedsy professional 🏆

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by

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