Title: The Devil’s Breath
Author: Harry Dayle
Published on: 13 November 2018
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
MI6 and their experiments with the latest technology made this story an engrossing read.
Xavier Baxter leads quite an interesting life as a DS until he was shot in the head. He wakes up six months later to find that his bodily functions – sleep and other things – are correct to a clockwork. He soon learns that a part of his brain was damaged during the shoot out and a chip has been inserted in place to take over the ‘subconscious’ actions of the body.
When I say subconscious actions, I mean the sleeping, breathing and moving limbs. Doesn’t this sound interesting? A brain dead person can be brought back to life just by inserting a chip that can perform these functions into his brain?
Initially, Xavier isn’t very happy with the MI16’s decision to save his life. His colleagues think he’s dead. His partner, Chloe, left her job after the shootout (Xavier took the bullet for her). But Xavier’s identity must remain a secret. He’s like a walking computer now – a cyborg to be precise! He can hack into any system with a swipe of his hand – quite literally because there’s an NFC chip in his palm. Like any small device, he needs to get his battery charged every day. If not, he would go into a coma and never return…
A couple of MI5 agents defect to Russia and Xavier is sent to investigate. This is going to be a test for him and the people who are the masterminds behind this technology inside him. With signal jammers and metal detectors, it is not easy to carry a surveillance device inside the Russian Embassy. But when there’s Xavier, there’s nothing to worry about. But days after Xavier joins as an agent, something goes wrong. So wrong that it might kill Xavier (remember, his batteries need to be charged).
I loved the concept of this story. A spy who has a chip in his brain, well, isn’t that an interesting concept? The suspense was well maintained throughout the book. The first part of the story is about Xavier almost getting killed and his rehabilitation. The second was about Xavier infiltrating the agency. I felt that the second part of the story needed some more explanation.
It sounded a tad hurried-up like. How Xavier tried to work things out and smuggle himself out of the Russian Embassy – this would have made the story even better. The technological aspects are explained in detail and I cannot the same about the spying part of it. I wish there was some spying and less technical mish-mash.
I hope to read more of Xavier’s adventures – given that things go well in the end, I do like to see Xavier in his next James Bond-ish adventures. 😀 Or, should I say James Cyborg-Bond? 😉