Once Dead is a thriller, action-packed book written by Richard Phillips, who is a former Army Ranger. Its main plot rotates around a mission by a CIA’s top assassin aimed at stopping a deadly EMP attack that has been targeted at the Eastern United States. The book is one of The Rho Agenda Inception novel series.
Jack Gregory, also known as the Ripper, is the top assassin and the main character in the story. After one of his mission goes wrong leaving him for the dead, he is faced with a strange offer from an unknown dark entity named Anchanchu. Anchanchu proposes to give Jack another chance at life but only if he agrees to serve as the human host to the dark figure. Jack decides to take up the deal.
However, this decision turns to be suicidal as the offer ends up being a grim bargain. Jack’s life subsequently changes for the worse. He’s no longer the same man he once was as his life is largely controlled by Anchanchu. Believed to be dead by the CIA, Jack transforms to become an assassin for hire which gives him the name Ripper. He is drawn into opposing an attempt to ground the Eastern U.S. with an EMP attack. His efforts turn out to successful as he manages to fight off the impending threat before the plot ends in suspense. Judging from the way the book ends, it’s obvious Richard that intends to develop this into a series.
The book is expertly done with its writing pretty superb. The author’s development of the plot is admirable, and his characters are well-defined which is always a plus in the fiction genre circles. The book has an excellent pacing that makes it very enjoyable and captivating.
Like all the rest of the Rho Agenda Inception series, Once Dead is arguably under the adult novels mainly due to the extensive profanity and over-the-top violence used in the plot. It may not have a brilliantly original plot, but Once Dead offers a well-crafted storyline that’s intense and thrilling. The book is worth a read in virtually all of aspects.