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Publisher's Summary

Saturday, 0911 hours — A blast rocks a London hospital and thousands are dead or injured.

1009 hours — Joe Ledger arrives on scene to investigate. The horror is unlike anything he has ever seen.

Compelled by grief and rage, Ledger rejoins the Department of Military Sciences, and within hours he's attacked by a hit team of assassins and sent on a suicide mission into a viral hot zone during an Ebola outbreak.

Soon Ledger and the DMS begin tearing down the veils of deception to uncover a vast and powerful secret society using weaponized versions of the Ten Plagues of Egypt to destabilize world economies and profit from the resulting chaos. Millions will die unless Ledger meets this powerful new enemy on its own terms as he fights terror with terror. 

Take another thrill ride with Joe Ledger.
©2011 Jonathan Maberry (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“A fast-paced, brilliantly written novel.” (Brad Thor)

What members say

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  • Overall

Joe Ledger ROCKS!

I cannot choose which is my favorite Joe Ledger book, I have tried by listening to them each several times. Jonathan Maberry is one of the most talented writers I have ever had the pleasure of reading. His books are smart, creepy, and will pull you into the world in which his characters dwell. The King of Plagues is the third part of the Joe Ledger trilogy, My advice is start the book when you have plenty of time to listen, because once you start you will not be able to stop.

35 of 40 people found this review helpful

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Keep in mind that as I criticize this book that I have already given it four stars for story and overall. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME SOMEONE FALLING IN LOVE LISTENED TO REASON. This is book number three and it is not as good as book number two, which was no where near as good as book number one "Patient Zero". Though this is not a comic book it does come dangerously close. The bad guys are Chaos (the same bad guys in Get Smart). At over 16 hours I thought the book was too long. The same thing that happens to most popular authors, seems to be happening to Maberry. His writing is getting longer as he says less. Editors keep their mouths shut, so as not to get fired. This would have been a little better at ten or twelve hours. There are places that go extremely flat and even Ray Porter sounds bored.

Keep in mind the above sentence was said in total seriousness. Joe Ledger is becoming a real softy. He is even more touchie feelie and introspective in this book then number 2. Diane Rowland's Zombie character Angel has a bigger set of balls then Joe now. Don't get me started on how Maberry is trying to turn this into a super politically correct novel. The speeches on how there are lots of good Moslems etc... are endless. The series has been optioned for a TV series, so Joe has to clean up his act. The mileage they get out of Joe's girlfriend's death in book two is unbelievable, even while they set up his next girlfriend.

Having said all I have said this book is worth your credit. It is still better then most books out there. It has some good action and plenty of great macho lines. I enjoyed it and will be getting the next book in the series.

Ray Porter, may be the best narrator on the planet.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful

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  • Eugenia
  • Chatsworth, CA, US
  • 05-14-17

Very Entertaining

Joe Ledger is a terrific character for this genre. He has strength and compassion as well as good solid hatred of the bad guys.
This is a well-rounded storyline with lots of action, weird bad guys and gals (love all the twisted weirdos wanting to fulfill their own twisted weirdo agendas) and cool behind-the-scenes military/government stuff.
And I totally disagree with some other reviewers who criticized the author for the political comments. I appreciated the intention as the comments were woven into the story as not only from the main character's point-of-view, but to add reality to the story.
And who doesn't love that dog? I adored Ghost and all his human-like qualities! I want that dog!
Ray Porter is an absolutely outstanding narrator.
On the next installment.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amanda
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 04-04-12

Ray Porter - Still worth the price of admission.

In the third full-length installment of the Joe Ledger series, we again find ourselves blessed with one of the best narrators available; Mr. Ray Porter. His performance alone is more than reason enough to spend time on this book.

This was my least favorite of the series so far, a casualty of overtly political sentiments that felt clumsy and heavy-handed, and a couple of overly obvious plot set-ups that left little to be surprised by in the end.

That said, there are still things to recommend this book, and overall I do recommend it; both for the reading, and for the (by now) familiar characters that I continued to enjoy. Mr. Church/Deacon/Pope (the main character's mysterious boss) continues to be one of the more interesting characters I've enjoyed in the thriller genre in some time, and I will happily pick up the next installment of the series when it comes out.

Final Verdict: Not as good as the first two, but worth the credit if you've enjoyed the series thus far.

15 of 19 people found this review helpful

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Better Than The Second Joe Ledger

I was disappointed by the second Joe Ledger book Dragon Factory and almost didn't read this one. But, I was such a fan of Dust and Decay and Rot and Ruin (absolutely fantastic btw) that I decided to give this one a shot.
I don't think it was as good as Patient Zero but it is damn close.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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  • Tim
  • Poulsbo, WA, United States
  • 03-22-15

Inconsistent flow, blatant politics

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

Probably not, I enjoyed the first 2 books enough to give this a try but will closely read reviews before buying others. Ray Porter, the narrator did his usual great job but the story line jumps around too much, breaks up the flow. I was particularly disappointed with the decision the author made to go political (I lean liberal but I really find the old "George Bush is stupid, Obama is incorruptible" line a bit tiresome and a mistake for the author to think it would fit well in this kind of story. Also, whether or not you believe the Muslim religion (Islam) is a threat to the US or not, by the third time he assured us that it is not, it began to feel like preaching, with a generous touch of arrogance.

If you’ve listened to books by Jonathan Maberry before, how does this one compare?

not as good

What about Ray Porter’s performance did you like?


6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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good fun, better than second book

This is the third installment in the series, and I wasn't sure I wanted to read it after the lousy second installment. This is better -- over-the-top comic book fun that's entirely unrealistic but good entertainment. And Ray Porter is a fantastic narrator that makes listening to this book a great experience. There were some things in the story that were even too unbelievable for a comic book, but all in all, it was still worth the time and credit. And I might even consider the next installment now that this one improved over the mistake of the Dragon Factory.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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I would stay in my car just to listen. I love this story! Action, real human emotions, and brutal truths.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lore
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 08-14-16

Brings a story arc to the bad guys

The King of Plagues brings back some baddies from a prior book as the Department of Military Sciences discovers the existence of the Seven Kings. They are a powerful cabal bent on causing chaos throughout the world and profiting from it. The Seven Kings use their knowledge of the upcoming chaos they will cause to make money on various fronts as wars and catastrophes impact the world markets. Ruled over by "The Goddess" there are seven members of the cabal each with an adviser who acts as their "conscience." It turns out that they have a vacancy and are in need of a new King of Plagues.

The DMS lost a major member at the end of The Dragon Factory and the impact of that loss is evident as Joe Ledger is still on a leave of absence when this one starts. Joe is grief stricken and trying to find a way to cope with yet another loss in his life and he has been off active duty for a while. Of course a new threat causes Mr Church to coax Joe back into action and when he returns Joe brings along a new companion, Ghost. Ghost is a white German Shepard who is trained in many capacities including bomb sniffing and combat. Ghost is also an excellent judge of character and plays a key role as Joe's new partner. Echo team also has also added some new members while Joe was gone, including John Smith, the best sniper in the world. John's code name is Chatterbox, since he barely talks at all, but when he brings down the Hammer of God on someone he never misses. Circe O'Tree is another new character introduced who brings her skill set over to the DMS as a terrorism expert.

A terrorist attack in a London hospital kicks things off as the Seven Kings start to implement a new wave of chaos involving their new King of Plagues. By coercing individuals that work in key locations around the world the Seven Kings are recreating a modern version of the Ten Plagues from the Bible. These attacks are perpetrated by ordinary people in vital roles at these key locations and this combined with social media manipulation from The Goddess starts to position the Seven Kings as a powerful force to be reckoned with. However, another rival cabal starts feeding information on the activities of the Seven Kings to the DMS and Joe and team find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. It starts to become obvious that the DMS is being used as a tool for one rival to take down another but they can't ignore the threats being orchestrated by the Seven Kings and they must stop them at all costs.

Now that the bad guys are starting to have a story arc of their own the series is gathering some momentum as key players on various points of the moral compass vie to gain the upper hand. Mr. Church and Aunt Sally, the two key leaders of the DMS, clearly have a nebulous past of their own and every bad guy that shows up knows about them and fears what they are capable of. This adds a nice layer to the overall series and makes it more engaging than just Joe Ledger and Echo team going around shooting people.

Ray Porter delivers another excellent narration and I continue to march forward in the series. It isn't the greatest series ever but it is entertaining and a nice change of pace within the genre. I do enjoy the random pop culture references made throughout each book and often chuckle when Ledger compares things in his "real world" to other fictional worlds.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Sorry, no.

A number of things wrong with this book, the series and the character of Joe Ledger. Really? A psychiatrist on staff that the hero needs to call in the middle of an op? Super duper at combat just because he was a grunt years ago? I know, everything is over-the-top in books like this, but this stretched too far.
Then, he goes and starts playing politics in this book. He was commendably neutral in his first two, but Mayberry decided to send a message in this one. I'm done with his books and which he never got a penny from me for the first two.

On a positive note, the Ray Porter does a great job, and I've enjoyed his work with other books.

11 of 16 people found this review helpful