In ‘Without Warning’ John Birmingham gave us a thriller about what might happen if America kind of disappeared. An inexplicable wave of energy decimated the American mainland, and then just as inexplicably disappeared a year later. Now in ‘After America’ we have another equally thrilling story set as the World changes with the absence of a powerful USA. New President James Kipper is no closer to explaining the catastrophe to the traumatised survivors but the American people are slowly repopulating the USA.
An assassination attempt on the President in the remnants of New York prompts the suspicion that the looters overrunning Manhattan may be more organised and sinister than previously thought.
There are groups in the country, more interested in their own personal gain than re-establishing the American Dream. Migrants suffer; illegals come and go as they please; people die.
In England, Caitlin Monroe, a member of the mysterious Echelon, rescues her family from assassins, a sharp reminder that her nemesis is active again.
This is a typical new Birmingham, in the mold of his World War 2.x series and Without Warning. Various narrative streams keep the reader on their toes but allow a broader picture to emerge. Thrilling, almost believable and not to be put down willingly.