Sunday, 10 February 2013

Behead the Serpent!

Behead the Serpent

Genre: Fiction / Thriller  / Espionage / Murder / Mystery / Tension / Suspense

This novel is the third in the Davies King series and whilst it is a 'standalone' tale, it also follows on from the enigmatic and audacious thriller 'Moonlight Shadows'. Whilst the story is fictitious, many will clearly see a close proximity to the reality of life in the twenty first century.  The work describes a couple of megalomaniacs who attempt to blackmail the British Government by a series of threats. When they realise they aren't being taken seriously, the threats are extended and 'go viral'. With both Europe and the United States of America intimidated, the authorities must decide whether an attack will come from either cyberspace or by the deployment of a bombing campaign - perhaps both - and how they will counter it. But once the assault begins, it is obvious these criminals are capable of much more than was ever anticipated. The first stages of dystopia are experienced and leave communities reeling and in fear of a massive cyberspace attack. Neither historic, technocratic or futuristic, this novel delivers one element of the cyberspace war whilst probing the relationships of those involved on both sides of the fence. I is a very modern and up to date story of both personal and international relationships.


Compromising photographs discovered in a vacant office in central London are not immediately connected to a ferocious attack on Davies King. But when the campaign against the chief of detectives and his closest friends turns to blackmail, it becomes personal.

A series of horrendous bomb attacks and brutal shootings convince Davies to discharge himself from hospital and confront the most wanted’ criminals in the United Kingdom.

Disillusioned with a temporary chief constable, and anxious to relieve a stressed out bomb disposal officer, the chess playing detective joins forces with British Intelligence to challenge the megalomaniacs who are holding the nation to ransom. 

Her Majesty’s Government announce a Tier One threat level as the lights across the south of England are extinguished and parts of Europe and North America face the reality of the first stages of society’s breakdown - Dystopia.

It’s a simple question for the obstinate detective to answer. Does the country pay the ransom or do the lights go out?

It’s not rocket science, but who makes the decision, and why? 


Five stars awarded (amazon)- A well written, bang up to date or even ahead of its time plot, written by an obviously knowledgeable, well informed author.... Peter Baxter, Reader.

Review: Five stars awarded (amazon) - "Behead The Serpent" by the talented author Paul Anthony is a must read. An intriguing cyberspace chess game is being played, where Davies King's mental sharpness, keen intelligence, and physical ability are tested and questioned as he tries to discover in time, who is behind a devious plot threatening his friends, himself, and the world. 

Highly recommend by CC Champagne, author of 'That Moment'

REVIEW: This tale is so up to date it is unbelievable. Part mystery, part spy adventure, always a thriller, and at a  time when the world's hackers have carried out the biggest ever DDOS (Distributed denial of service) on the world wide web, Paul Anthony's typical multi genre work pre-empts reality with a fascinating story that penetrates the very essence of life in the world of Intelligence. A brilliant piece of fiction aided and abetted by some classic characters.
Dan, Reader... Grange Over Sands...

What are the 'spies' talking about? What are they up to?

What is the next move in the world of covert espionage?

REVIEW: Could a cyberspace war really happen? Read this fascinating novel and you realise, yes it could! Detective Chief Inspector Davies King flies by the seat of his pants taking everyone along with him as he tackles the problem threatening society... ‘Another cracking ‘unputdownable’ read from Paul Anthony.’
Pauline Livingstone, Editor...


Another fast-paced, action-packed thriller from Paul Anthony. Davies King, the hard-nosed chess master detective, needs all his cunning, skill, and nerve to play a megalomanic and a terrorist at their own game. When the very fabric of not only his personal life, but that of society as we know it, is threatened, Davies has to be at his masterly best. The consequence of failure is disaster on an international scale.....    
 A real page-turner from start to finish... Meg Johnston, author.


The latest crime thriller featuring chess-playing Detective Chief Inspector Davies King, Behead the Serpent by Paul Anthony (@PaulAnthonysPen) is subtly different from previous entries in the series, but no less fun. Although Serpent can be enjoyed all by itself, the plot does complete an overarching storyline begun in the previous book, Moonlight Shadows. Having been foiled by Davies King in their attempt to secure a computer memory stick holding software worth untold billions, rogue superspy Mansfield de Courtenay Baron — “The Baron” — and former-IRA soldier Conor O’Keefe are on the run as Britain’s most wanted men. The Baron and O’Keefe haven’t gone far from King’s home in the seaside town of Crillsea, however, and they haven’t given up on getting that memory stick or finding some other way to make themselves rich. In short order these two criminals mastermind a series of attacks that spiral upwards..... The message is clear: give up the memory stick or face the consequences, which could be quite dire indeed once the Baron and O’Keefe demonstrate their ability to turn out the lights throughout all of Britain and parts of the continent and North America. Davies King loves a good challenge on the chessboard, but playing against the Baron he seems to always be a step behind, reacting to threats when he would prefer to impose his will against an unseen opponent who has demonstrated a mastery of cyberspace — a location that is emerging as a pitched battlefield for nations fighting against fanatical individuals and groups as well as other nations. Can the brainy Detective Chief Inspector figure out a stratagem mid-game to stop his opponents before catastrophe strikes? Although the vast majority of this novel is set in and around Crillsea, there are elements of an international thriller in Behead the Serpent, which includes the return of all my favorite series characters, including head of the Metropolitan Police Flying Squad “Big Al” Jessop, Detective Inspector Annie Rock, Archie and the rest of the regulars at the Anchor pub, and Claudia, Davies King’s right-hand at the Crillsea “nick.” As I mentioned, this entry in the series seemed a bit different to me. The overwhelming emphasis is on the major plot of taking down the Baron and O’Keefe, with less attention paid to a few small side issues that crop up; although mostly set in Crillsea time spent in the Anchor pub with its denizens is limited, and overall there is more of what I’ve called, for lack of a better term, a James Bond-ish feel. Not that it doesn’t make for a good story, it does — I suppose I personally revel in the smaller details surrounding the Crillsea police. 
Mr. Anthony has said next Davies King book is due out after the New Year and personally I can’t wait. For more information on Paul Anthony and his books.
Scott Whitmore, Journalist, author, book critic, retired US Navy.

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