Frank Chambers is one of the world's best assassins. And he wants to quit.
Working for a shadowy group of internationalists known collectively as The Council, Frank is a
valuable asset his employers prefer not to lose. He knows if he insists on leaving which he
does The Council will send the other two assassins on its payroll after him.
Therein lies the premise of The Council, a 100,000-word thriller that started life as a screenplay
idea and blossomed into the first in a projected series of Frank Chambers novels.
Set primarily in Chicago and Nice, France, with forays to locations worldwide, the story kicks off
with Frank on a Chicago rooftop. He's there to take out a guy called the banker. He's told
himself it's the last time, his final assignment. But after the shoot, Frank discovers he left the
wrong guy lying on the pavement in front of The Drake Hotel.
While he tries to find out why a smalltime drug dealer ended up in his crosshairs instead of his
assigned target, he has to deal with a passel of people out for his head. Not only his fellow
assassins, but the Chinese tong-connected girlfriend of the dealer he killed and the ex-cop
muscle man she hires to help her, as well as a pair of Chicago cops bent on solving a shooting so
expertly done that they figure the triggerman must be a phantom.
But his pursers are no more relentless than the memories that haunt Frank. Memories of his
wife Celine and daughter Elena, of the life they had together until an accident ended it. While
The Council is a thriller, with a less-than-admirable protagonist, it's also a character study of a
man orphaned at age 10 who has tried to find peace and a place to call home all of his adult
life. Celine and Elena linger like perfume in the background, as Frank's vivid memories of them
swirl throughout the pages.
Ostensibly about the nefarious actions of a group of people bent running the world for their
benefit, The Council is really about the power of individuals to direct their own lives despite the
best efforts of others to control them. Fate is not predestined it's determined by those willing
to risk everything to shape their own. Frank Chambers and others in the novel do precisely that,
with a twist at the end that hints at better days to come.