‘You must never tell anyone of this place.’
New Zealand novelist and screenwriter Lance Morcan is a former journalist and newspaper editor with twenty published books to his credit. He regularly writes in collaboration with his son James Morcan, an actor, writer, podcast host and producer who resides in Sydney, Australia. Together they have published nine books as a team, both novels and the ‘underground knowledge’ series which includes ‘MEDICAL INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX, GENIUS INTELLIGENCE, and VACCINE SCIENCE REVISITED.
The Morcans know how to deliver intrigue, both on scientific subjects and most assuredly on suspense thrillers. They invite us in with their moody Prologue which in addition to giving us insight in the tale to follow allows us to appreciate some fine African ‘history’. ‘The first full moon of the rainy season was a momentous occasion for the Dogon people of Mali. It marked the day, many countless moons ago when, according to legend at least, Moussa Diarra, one of their ancient forefathers, discovered Sirius B, the second star in the Sirius solar system and one that wouldn’t be rediscovered by astronomers until hundreds of years later. And then only with the aid of telescopes. Every year, Dogon used the occasion to celebrate Moussa’s discovery and to pay homage to the greatest of all their spiritual leaders. Moussa had ruled over Dogon when the Mali Empire was the largest in West Africa. Its western border stretched all the way to the Atlantic Ocean and it was a center of culture, language, education, mathematics, science, law, trade, and great wealth. It was a time when Dogon had considerable more influence. In the present day they are a persecuted minority facing cultural extinction as they’re continually attacked by larger ethnic and religious fundamentalist groups whose number include disenchanted Muslims.’
With that flavor of credible authenticity the story proceeds – mood set, characters arise. Apropos of the authors the lead character is Australian – security consultant Dean Hawkins. Or as the summary of the plot states, ‘A group of foreign mercenaries hired as deniable assets by a newly-formed humanitarian division of the CIA is tasked with saving Mali’s persecuted Dogon people from genocide. The operation must be carried out in stealth while journeying across some of West Africa’s most hostile terrain. They are also instructed to help solve an ancient astronomical mystery linked to the pyramids of Egypt. Nicknamed the Deniables because their existence isn’t officially acknowledged by the CIA, the mercenaries are crazy enough to accept the mission anyway. However, they soon find themselves fighting for their lives when they get caught in the middle of warring ethnic factions in Mali. Their only way to survive is to join with the Dogon in a race against the clock. The stakes are so high that not only could an entire indigenous group be wiped off the face of the Earth, but all evidence that supports advanced ancient technology theories surrounding the Dogon and a lost civilization thesis may be destroyed in the process. Inspired by a true-life mystery of astronomy.’
A novel of epic length, THE DOGON INITIATIVE proves once again that the Morcans are a very fine writing team. This is a tale that pleads to be a film – and perhaps that will happen as James is also a screenwriter…Highly recommended. Grady Harp, February 19
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