‘Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn’ by Jon Land [Book Review]

Black Scorpion

Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn by Jon Land is the thrill-a-minute sequel to Land’s The Seven Sins, from 2008, the first of his novels to feature the extremely lucky, wealthy and very resourceful protagonist, Michael “The Tyrant” Tiranno, who owns the Seven Sins Casino and Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada. From the first novel, alone, Tiranno’s derring-do and almost superhero-style exploits have made the character so popular that Hollywood is making a movie based on both the first novel, The Seven Sins, and its sequel, Black Scorpion. DC Comics also wants to make the character of Michael Tiranno the subject of a comic book series and a graphic novel.

Jon Land’s intriguing and intrepid hero is based on the actual life and adventures of Fabrizio Boccardi, whose life, as Land pens in his Acknowledgments page of The Seven Sins, “and true rags-to-riches story,” inspired him to write both The Seven Sins: The Tyrant Ascending and Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn. Land’s The Seven Sins relates the tale of how Michael Tiranno somehow survived a Mafia attack that killed practically his entire family, other than his sister, how he came to possess a lucky (or cursed, or both) pendant, and was raised by a Mafia don, and how he began his rise to wealth and power by leaving Italy and coming to America.

In Black Scorpion, author Jon Land continues relating the heroic adventures and escapades of Michael Tiranno. The novel takes up the tale of Tiranno’s life five years after the events of The Seven Sins. Tiranno has grown from being a real estate mogul and a person with big dreams into a heroic figure who saves Las Vegas from a terrorist attack.

Michael Tiranno, despite his nickname, The Tyrant, always looks after people who are not as fortunate as he is, or have fallen on hard times. He is up for any challenge, but he also has a tender heart, shown in Black Scorpion when he has his lawyer, Naomi Burns, buy houses of people who cannot make their mortgage payments to the bank any longer, and then allows them to continue living in the houses for substantially less per month than they had been paying.

In Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn, Michael Tiranno faces a new sort of enemy, a nefarious organization known as Black Scorpion that is involved in human trafficking. Black Scorpion began in Eastern Europe but grew to extend its pincher-like grip and stinger upon the entire world. It is led by the ruthless but brilliant Vladimir Dracu. Tiranno is determined to confront and defeat the huge challenges that Black Scorpion and Dracu present, but he also is determined to preserve his image and cover as being one of Sin city’s most successful businessmen.

A major complication in the novel and to Tiranno’s attempts to thwart Dracu is when he kidnaps Tiranno’s girlfriend, Scarlett Swan. She is an archaeologist and it might be that one reason Dracu has taken her hostage is because she knows some potentially valuable information about the ancient lucky pendant that Tiranno possesses, a relic which men had died for in the past.

Scarlett Swan discovers an ancient Roman temple in the in the Retezat Mountains in Romania’s Transylvania, and she believes that she has came across something there that will be of great interest to her boyfriend, Michael Tiranno. Her find is, however, also something that greatly interests Valdimir Dracu. Black Scorpion members murder everyone working at the site except for Scarlett Swan, who they have other uses for.

In Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn, the past and the present clash as Michael “The Tyrant” Tiranno becomes involved in combating an international criminal organization. Countless lives are at stake in this page-turning thriller by Jon Land, including the life of Tiranno’s girlfriend, Scarlett Swan. Jon Land has written more than 30 novels, and he is perhaps more famous for his Blaine McCracken and Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series of books; but, his Michael Tiranno novels are vibrant and fast-paced, and they are every bit as good, if not better, than anything else Land has written. Anyone who loves to read action-packed thrillers needs to check out Black Scorpion: The Tyrant Reborn and all of Land’s other novels!

Written By Douglas Cobb

Hartford Books Examiner
Genre Go Round Reviews
Providence Journal

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