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Architects of Armageddon

Narrated by: Kevin Chambers
Series: Kate Dawson, Book 2
Length: 10 hrs and 23 mins
5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Someone is hellbent on world destruction....

Inspector Kate Dawson is called to investigate a mass murder, a call that will change her life, and possibly the whole world - forever.

Certain parents have been directed to put their children to death. They believe they are the Chosen Ones, destined by God to inherit the Earth. The charismatic leader of End Times Ministries, whose grand plan includes stoking the fires of Armageddon, has ordered parishioners to close ranks and prepare for a holy war.

Kate Dawson knows this is not God’s will, but that of a dangerous, diabolical cult leader who controls the lives of his people. "They plan to start a war!"

"Nearly a million people live in the San Francisco Bay area," Senator Santiago said. "That’s a lot of lives that would be lost, but nowhere near the hundreds of millions of lives lost in a global war and the starvation, and sickness, and disease that follows."

"So, you’re saying, the Doomsday clock is ticking?" Kate asked, already sensing the answer.

"It’s five minutes to midnight...."

Kate would have been the first one to confess that she didn’t know a whole lot about politics and religion - but she did know there was a group of fanatics out there who were determined to move the hands of the clock closer to midnight, and it was her duty to stop their plan to detonate an atomic bomb in the San Andreas Fault.

©2017 John L. Flynn (P)2019 W&B Publishers

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A Worthy Successor!The "one" Audio Book this Year!

I've never been so scared by an audio book than in the first few minutes of Architects of Armageddon. The murder-suicide was shocking, to say the least. Then author Flynn plunges his readers on a one-way rollercoaster ride to hell as Inspector Kate Dawson struggles to wake up her booze-addled brain from the nightmare of all nightmares. And I thought Halloween was last week! The second book in the Kate Dawson thrillers finds our favorite homicide detective suffering PTSD after her encounter with a serial killer. She can't seem to sleep or eat her favorite donuts or even do her job as she confronts demons from a previous murder case, and she is forced by Internal Affairs to see a wacky shrink who wears wild Tommy Bahama shirts and listens to Opera. Dawson feels like she has hit rock bottom. Then clues to a murder-suicide lead her to religious cult leader who is planning to start World War 3 with a stolen nuke in this end-of-the-world chiller. I loved Intimate Bondage when I read it in print form in 2014, and as a 30-something, single woman, I identified with Kate Dawson! This is a worthy successor to that story. Kate must now summon every ounce of courage she has to pull herself together to stop the megalomaniac at the heart of the story from destroying her beloved San Francisco. The plot is both gripping and frightening at the same time, and Flynn pulls out all of the stops to make it truly thrilling. Cudos also go out to narrator Kevin Chambers for his excellent narration. If you're only going to listen to one audio book this year, make it this one!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Kate Dawson is Awesome! Love her thrillers!

Several months ago, I listened to my first Kate Dawson thriller, Merchants of Death. The book was incredibly intense, well-written, masterful in its plot, and introduced me to the character of Kate Dawson for the first time. She was a strong, independent-minded homicide detective who didn't put up with a lot of bull from her male boss or predominantly male coworkers. She wasn't always right, and made plenty of mistakes along the way; she was at times vain, arrogant, haughty, but always her own woman. I liked that because I enjoy stories about strong women and female empowerment. Architects of Armageddon takes place right after her ordeal with a serial killer (as set forth in her debut novel, Intimate Bondage). She survived the ordeal, but came away from it, suffering with psychological wounds. (The wounds go so far deep that she has to drink herself to sleep every night and carry a hangover into the next day's work.) Her boss is ready to fire her, and with the insistence of Internal Affairs, she is forced into therapy with the flamboyant departmental shrink. She keeps her badge, and at the same time must investigate a murder-suicide of members from a strange religious cult. The "architects" of the title refer to the cult leaders who plan to start a jihad that will engulf the world with a nuclear holocaust. All the while she is fighting her inner demons, she is fighting real-world demons who will stop at nothing to set their unholy plan in motion. While I loved the work as a whole, each struggle she overcomes in the course of her investigation reveals a different layer of her character...revealing a strong work ethic and as well as a weakness for men who are out of reach. I do find it curious that each man she has met - in each of the different books - is named "John" or a derivation of John, like Jay or Jack. The author's name is John, too. I have raised questions in each of my reviews as to whether "John" (the author) is actually a woman using a man's name. S/he seems to have an incredibly deep understanding of what makes a woman tick, and offers up specific scenes in each of the different books that show Kate's vulnerability. Here, she is tempted by a Jesus-lookalike named John, and even invites him home to her bed, but he turns her advances down because of a vow of celibacy. His rejection makes him even more desirable to Kate. A male writer would not necessarily know that, but a woman would. Regardless of whether he is a she, II absolutely adore these books, and I can't wait for the next one. I love these thrillers.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Spine-tingling Suspense! Great Writing!

Architects of Armageddon is the second book in the Kate Dawson thriller series, but can be listened to in any order. I have listened to two other books in the series, and I just love the main character, Kate Dawson, a gutsy female homicide detective with the San Francisco Police Department. When the story opens, she is suffering from her ordeal with a serial killer and ill-prepared for a new case which involves a murder-suicide. Some cultist has murdered her five children by hanging them from a tree like ornaments in her backyard, then killed herself. The murder-suicide is shocking, to say the least. Almost as shocking as Kate's nightmares about her previous case. Broken and battered, she pursues clues to the murder-suicide to a religious cult obsessed with the end of the world. Thanks to a clever make-up artist, Dawson goes undercover as an old woman, and learns the group plans to use an atomic bomb to destroy the City of San Francisco and blame the destruction on a Muslim terrorist cell working in Oakland. The plot may seem a little outrageous and over-the-top, but Author Flynn's great writing and excellent research details make it seem all the more compelling and real. Of course, at the heart of the story is a remarkable tale of one woman's quest to heal herself and stop the bad guys. Several other critics have written this book is about redemption and salvation, and while there are clearly those elements at work, this is really a work of female empowerment, facing down obstacles that have been put in her path and succeeding despite the fact that things are stacked against her. Kate's infiltration of the cultist compound is one of the great set-pieces of the novel, wringing as much spine-tingling suspense as possible from her incursion. At every turn, I expected someone was going to jump out at her, and kill her or capture her, but the author delays the inevitable, building up even more tension. Ultimately, when the bay guys behind the plot do emerge, I was surprised by their motives. The "architects" of Armageddon are far more sinister than they appear, and Kate Dawson's confrontation with them highlights Flynn's excellent narrative writing. Cudos also go out to Kevin Chamber's sympathetic narration. He's one to watch in the future, and I do hope he gets the assignment to narrative another one of Flynn's books. Please pick up this new audio book. It is filled with spine-tingling suspense and great writing.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Frighteningly “Real” Thriller!

When I started listening to the story, I realized just what a genius work of fiction this book actually was. Genius Title! The “architects” of the title refers to the leader and a handful of inner-circle members of a religious sect, known as the End Times Ministries, who are actively working to bring about “Armageddon,” or the end of the world. Inspector Kate Dawson, a homicide detective with the San Francisco Police Department, stumbles upon their nefarious plans while investigating a murder-suicide in the City by the Bay. She tries to stop them – in spite of her romantic attraction to one of the sect’s members – but is always one step behind. With the Doomsday Clock set at Five Minutes to Midnight, Dawson races against time to disarm an atomic bomb that will trigger a global war with extremist Jihadists from the Middle East. To say anything more would ruin this “end-of-the-world” thriller. I will just add that Kate Dawson and her fellow detectives are very nicely developed characters who are very real, flawed people trying to do their best at a very crazy moment in time. The plot was frighteningly “real,” seemingly torn from the front page of the New York Times. My drudgery in driving a long-distance for work was relieved, and I actually looked forward each time I got behind the wheel because of the story that was waiting for me. I enjoyed every minute of it.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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It's Real! The War of the God with Satan!

Architects of Armageddon is an incredible work of faith, masquerading as an end-of-the-world thriller. There are several instances in this new audio book when people talk about the Bible and reveal a secret war that is happening right now between God and the forces of evil. Kate Dawson, the story's protagonist, seeks out a woman who has escaped from this religious cult and discovers the religious war has been going on for centuries since the time of Christ. We don't see it because it is an invisible war, but it does exist nonetheless. Outside of Christian books sold by Christian publishers, this is the first time I have ever seen this storyline articulated in a mainstream book. I loved it. Flynn's research skills are excellent. How he manages to create and weave real tale, like it, are a matter for God. Praise the Almighty!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Packs a Punch! Highly Original!

I'm more of a Sci-Fi buff, and prefer speculative fiction. But one of the members in my Book Club suggested that I might enjoy Architects of Armageddon because it's an end-of-the-world thriller like The Andromeda Strain or The Satan Bug. He was absolutely right! I loved this book, almost as much as Flynn's The Jovian Dilemma. The world hangs in the balance as a radical sect of religious fanatics attempt to launch a global Jihad, and only the intrepid Kate Dawson, a homicide detective with the SFPD, stands in their way. From the very first page, this highly original story really packs a punch! I never thought I'd have so much fun with a mystery-thriller as much as I did. I especially enjoyed Kevin Chambers' sensitive narration. Great job, guys! And much thanks to Audible for continuing to have the best in audio books.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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OUTSTANDING BOOK TO READ!

It may save your life! Author John Flynn has a real talent for storytelling, starting out with a simple murder-suicide and building a thrilling tale about religious fanatics and nuclear holocaust.  This new audio book has a large, grand scope and talks about the real psychology behind what turns regular, every-day people into fanatics who would seek to destroy the world in order to try to save it.  At the same time, sandwiched in between the thriller aspects of the novel is a very personal story about Kate Dawson, as a shell-shocked veteran of the SFPD, working with a police psychiatrist to overcome the effects of post-traumatic stress syndrome.  Everyone is rooting for Kate to succeed, but really, this time, things seem very much out of her grasp.  I would rate this as the top book from the author.  Very thoughtful and enjoyable listening. Narration of Kevin Chambers is outstanding.
This was a third book of Kate Dawson series I read. The first book was about arms dealers selling illegal arms to third-world countries, and the second book was about a serial killer loose in the BDSM underworld of San Francisco. I enjoyed all of them.
I have been a proud member of the United Methodist Church for over 50 years, and I also belong to the Senior Citizens Book Club at church.  Several seniors in my group and I have shared books in the Kate Dawson thrillers; they enjoy reading Kate Dawson's adventures, and each of them have their own favorites. But I submit The Architects of Armageddon is the best in the series. It seems like it was written specifically for people of faith. 

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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The Power of Redemption! Great Theme!

The pastor at my church in Pikesville, Maryland, used to say that we were at war with Satan everyday, and that we had to put on the armor of God before we go into battle. So, you can imagine my surprise when I read those lines in a book that's supposed to be an end-of-the-world thriller, but reads like text from Paul. Flynn's secular story tells a surprisingly religious tale about one woman's redemption after suffering through a hellatious ordeal. Kate Dawson, an inspector with the San Francisco Police Department, is the last victim of a serial killer she brought to justice in the previous novel; she is suffering with post traumatic stress syndrome, and cannot seem to sleep through the night without drinking herself in a stupor. She is a wreck, and can't seem to function in her job or in her relationships with men. When she meets a Jesus look-a-like barking out salvation in front of a makeshift church, Kate claims that she doesn't believe; the Jesus look-a-like says that God still believes in you. Dawson needs salvation, a chance to heal, and she is reminded by a complete stranger that it's okay not to believe...because God does believe in her. That's a very powerful message, and one that everyone of us should embrace. No matter how far gone we are, now matter how lost we are, no matter what we've done, God still has a place in His heart for us. She struggles for the rest of the story, even with the help of a police psychologist, but eventually discovers that the love and the redemption of the Lord is what she needs to heal her broken spirit. She not only triumphs over the evil men who are attempting to orchestrate Armageddon for nefarious purposes, but she also wrestles her inner demons so that she can break free of the evil one's hold on her life and live her life anew. It is a glorious novel with an impressive, spiritual message about the power of redemption. I absolutely loved this story, and would encourage Christians and all people of faith to embrace it. I think you'll be surprised with just how good it is.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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All the Trimmings! Thanksgiving Surprise!!

With little to watch on television, the night before Thanksgiving, my family and guests enjoyed a real Thanksgiving treat. I put on John Flynn's Architects of Armageddon while I prepped the meal for tomorrow. To my surprise, everyone gathered in the living room (and a few in the spillover dining room) to listen to the latest Kate Dawson thriller. The story held them spellbound, with excellent writing and imaginative characters. The story's theme about redemption and self-sacrifice reminded all of us why we were celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday. Old and young alike enjoyed the tale. Thanks Audible!

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Thanksgiving Delight! Remember to be Grateful!

I just finished listening to Architects of Armageddon. 5-Stars all around for a great story, an incredible audio performance by Kevin Chambers, and an outstanding book. I am reminded how fortunate I am, when I read a book like this, that I live the life I do. I am surrounded by great friends at work, at home, and at church. Kate Dawson put herself out there to save the people she loves and stop really bad people from doing bad things. I'm grateful for the men and women of our local police who put themselves on the line every day for us. While I realize this is a fictional tale, I also know that it reflects the lives of our police and fire and first responders. What a great message to send, particularly at Thanksgiving.