Aftershock by Adam Hamdy brings to a conclusion his Pendulum series. Throughout the series the deep state is exposed showing how those in business, the military, government, and religious leaders have their own agenda in an attempt to take over in Britain and America.

The main heroes of the book are English detective Patrick Bailey, the leader of the Metropolitan Police task force, FBI Agent Christine Ash, and photographer John Wallace. They work together to destroy this far-reaching organization known as The Foundation. It is important to read the previous books to understand the journey that the heroes are on. Throughout the story there is a cat and mouse game played between the protagonists and antagonists that include Arno Kale, a cult leader and Ash’s evil father. Knowing that there are very few people they can trust Bailey, Ash, and Wallace work together with their underworld contacts rather than their own colleagues to bring down this horrific organization.

The tension is ratcheted up as the book progresses creating a fast-paced thriller with very complex characters. Readers who like a good conspiracy story sprinkled with some mystery and mayhem will enjoy this book.

Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for this series?

Adam Hamdy: I drew upon my own personal experience after rescuing my twelve-year-old nephew from a cult.  This put me in a lot of contact with people who have dealt with cults. I’ve interviewed victims of cults, psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers and many others who specialize in the field. I’ve met with people who lead cults as well as figures within the alternative spiritual community. I’ve had readings from psychics, fortune tellers, and learned the basics of cold reading from experts in the field. This book in particular examines how easy it is for someone with the right skills to manipulate people. My nephew was told he was going to be a leader of an army of faithful.  Thankfully, he is fine now, and out of the cult.

EC:  How would you describe the organization, The Foundation?

AH:  It is a secret network of people coming together to reorder society.  These secret societies want to reorder the world in their own image.  People are denied liberty.  These cults have the right tools and techniques to manipulate others.

EC:  It has a lot of deep state comparisons?

AH: It is similar, since there is no way of knowing someone’s true loyalties.  It completely undermines trust.  What happens is it creates a culture of fear where people wonder about the person sitting next to them. A thread throughout this series is the danger of the super connected world that has fundamentally changed society.  For example, no one knows where those in the FBI or CIA get their information and who they are interacting with.

EC: There is a scene where the characters discuss justice versus revenge?

AH:  They are very different.  To have justice someone might be arrested and face a trial.  Ash is very conflicted because she wants to follow the law and seek justice versus the primal part of her that seeks vengeance because of what happened to her mother.  When readers meet her, she is on a mission, but now has a new mission that gives her purpose and direction.

EC:  How would you describe the relationship between Ash and Wallace?

AH:  Special.  In the first book, she saved his life.  At the end of the second book, Ash felt he betrayed her, but in this book, they make their way back together.  What Wallace represents to Ash is safety and that he is someone she now sees who can be trusted.

EC:  How would you describe Ash’s father?

AH:  One of the most evil people I had the pleasure of writing.  He is good at reading and manipulating people.  Unfortunately, he does not put those skills for the good end. He is a cult leader whose idea is to isolate people because those in cults do not have an objective sense of reality.

EC:  What do you want the readers to get out of the story?

AH:  I hope it was entertaining.  I hope they understand just how vulnerable we all are and how people prey on our weaknesses.  There is an instinctive reaction where people are forced to make a choice.  Politicians, actors, musicians, those in the FBI are now able to further their agenda. I am quite surprised how politically active everyone has become.  Confirmation bias leads us to seek out information that validates our political, social or economic worldview, rarely challenging the integrity of the data or the motivation of the source if it backs our pre-established understanding. We should follow the rule and not talk about politics, religion, and money.

EC:  Can you give a shout out about your next books?

AH: It is titled Black 13 and is about a disgraced MI6 agent.  It has a conspiracy that takes him into the dark world of the far right, and has a terrorist plot.  It is the first book in a new series.

The other book is one I am writing with James Patterson that will be out in September. It has the private investigation firm of Jack Morgan who has people all over the world.  This plot delves into the Cold War.