Dead Wrong by Richard Phillips Book Review

Dead Wrong is a highly suspenseful book that moves along at a faster pace than the previous book, Once Dead. While the first half felt like watching your usual action film involving the CIA (NSA for this one), the second is like watching an Indiana Jones film.

Dead Wrong Book Review, Richard Phillips
Genre: Science Fiction, Thriller
Author: Richard Phillips
Series: The Rho Agenda Inception #2
Date Published: January 6, 2015
Publisher: 47North
Edition: paperback (I got a digital ARC via
ISBN13: 9781477825532
Size: 389

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After the riveting events of Once Dead, Jack “Ripper” Gregory remains host to a homicidal alien bound to his soul. Now Jack has been hired for a suicide mission: journey to South America and rescue an imprisoned shaman. One problem…both the National Security Agency and a gang of neo-fascists are hot on his trail.

Neither group plans to let Jack live.

At stake is the immeasurably powerful Sun Staff, an ancient alien artifact that in the wrong hands will alter the course of human history. With the clock ticking, Jack must find and rescue the shaman before sinister forces get to him first. When Jack comes face-to-face with his equal—a stunningly beautiful NSA agent—he wonders if he can still pull the trigger and save his mission...even if the decision costs him his very soul.

From bestselling author Richard Phillips comes a globe-spanning sci-fi thriller series with a twist…culminating in the cataclysmic events that set the stage for the Rho Agenda.


Dead Wrong is riveting especially when it involves a mysterious artifact that is wound with fractal patterns on its length that form a complex function for which scientists at NSA are compelled to find solutions to. Just how was it possible for native people to build such a thing with complex mechanisms? Uhm, that is riveting on my part, but for you, it's the general air of mystery.

Richard Phillips is one of the most respectful-towards-women-intelligent-men there is, just some pegs below George R.R. Martin. He offered us Janet Price in Once Dead as a deadly amazing woman, at the top of her game as NSA's top agent. In Dead Wrong, she's more amazing than ever and her claws had gotten sharper than before.

I love Jack Gregory just by the prologue of the first book, Once Dead. But in this sequel, it feels to me as if he's overshadowed by Janet Price. Maybe it has something to do with the primitive ways that Jack has resorted to to do his own operations as a mercenary whereas Janet is backed by the NSA with their complex computers, top analysts and seemingly limitless security budget. That and the fact that the mind worm (Anchanchu) has taken much control over Jack when it thinks that its interest is threatened.

Boy was I whiplashed by Janet's ferocity when a giant albino tried to assault her in a dungeon cell in all of her glory, sans her clothes and in contrast, been disappointed with Jack's loss of control at a critical moment that could have ended his life. For this reason, I felt like I'm the one embarrassed for Jack before Janet's eyes.

I'm amused by the author's movie references—from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid to Dr. "Bones" McCoy of Star Trek. But I'm more amused with the exclusivity of Rho Agenda Inception's villains to the German nationality. On the first book, it was all about Germany's ability to produce proficient physicists. Here, it finally touched on the common stereotype, the Nazis.

The villian is Conrad Altmann, the only heir of a pertinent Nazi officer, Klaus Barbie (used by the Americans to infiltrate various Intelligence Agencies), and is now the godfather of the neo-Nazi party. But then of course, Barbie also infiltrated the very group that hired him and he passed his brilliance, knowledge and skills to his bastard son.

Not only did Conrad inherited his father's traits, he also inherited an artifact, the value of which was overlooked by Hitler, The Goldern Orb, when reunited with the Silver Staff to form the Sun Staff is believed to be able to resurrect the Incan Empire (like calling forth aliens to reunite the master race). You can just imagine what empire Conrad is trying to build.

Bringing us to an ancient territory, the seat of the Quechuan people with its historical value, I think I love this book better than the first despite being seemingly predictable (if you watch too much Indiana Jones). It has something to do with a touch of sentimentality and awe with the ancients, not to mention the curiosity of the existence of aliens.

Because the author himself is a well-decorated person (a Physicist and an Army Ranger), you can feel the authenticity of anything military and scientific written in the book despite being totally fictitious. Richard Phillips knows his domains so well and it reflects in the delivery of his writing.

Dead Wrong is an excellent read and it's not necessary to read the first book to get into the world of Jack Gregory as this book is written in such a way that you'd completely comprehend Jack's situation. Yes, I just put the emphasis there. If you love action, mystery, suspense, a yummy agent, with a light touch of romance or the lack thereof, then this book is worth your while.

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