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Evensong
by John Love
Night Shade Books, $15.99, 352 pp
Published: January 2015

A short 45 years into the future, oil is no longer a global issue; wars are now fought over water.  The UN is charged to keep stability and peace and, often, tact and diplomacy fails.  They've come up with better options: virtually-indestructible, biologically-enhanced human machines with superior fighting skills and the ability to heal their own injuries at a speed that keeps them operational.  Anwar Abbas is one of them. 

Olivia del Sarto, a beautiful woman with intense culinary and carnal appetites, is the archbishop of the politically powerful New Anglican church.  The church, with its beautiful cathedral and compound of gardens, hotels, and conference centers on the New West Pier in Brighton, is the host of the UN’s water rights summit.  In her rise to power, Olivia has made enemies who have promised to spectacularly and publicly kill her during the summit.  With a secret weapon that can kill those like Anwar, her enemies appear unstoppable.

When Anwar is assigned simple body-guard duties to protect Olivia during the preparations leading up to and during the summit, he is insulted.  Being a bodyguard is beneath what he was engineered to do and Anwar is proud of his skills.  As he researches Olivia and her role in the politics of the church, he discovers the truth.  We gain insight into his angst over being expendable, as well as his sense of humor, his ability to feel love and fear, and his stamina to match Olivia’s appetites. 

Of particular note are the short chapters of Olivia attending Evensong at the Old Anglican church and looking back at her time with Anwar that are interspersed throughout the book.  In the end, we come to a surprising conclusion. 

I really like John Love’s writing and this, his second novel, did not disappoint.  This book kept me engrossed over the long Christmas weekend (to many family grumblings.) ~~ Marie Davis

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