Mystery/Thriller Book ReviewsThe Internet Writing Journal, February 2006
7 Deadly Wonders by Matthew ReillySimon and Schuster, January, 2006
Hardcover, 400 pages
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The Great Pyramid at Giza once looked even more fantastic than it does now. Today the sides are rough, but they were once were covered in white marble, which was all stripped off to build other buildings. At the top of the pyramid was a Golden Capstone, which allegedly protected Egypt from the Tartarus Rotation, a solar event that happens every 4500 years. The next Tartarus Rotation is due to occur in March, 2006, and without the Capstone to channel the sun's rays, the Earth will be subjected to global flooding and scorching heat. There is another legend about the Capstone: whoever recites the correct spell while standing by the Capstone during the Tartarus Rotation will gain 1,000 years of global domination for his country. The capstone was cut into seven parts by Alexander the Great (the last man to rule the globe) and hidden inside the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. With the balance of power on Earth at stake, the United States and the Vatican are both determined to find the Capstone and seize power. But there is a third group in the race for the Capstone: a coalition of eight smaller nations who think that no one country should have such power at its disposal. This third group is headed by Australian supersoldier Captain Jack West Jr., who was trained by U.S. Special Forces. Now, the race is on to find the pieces of the Capstone, avoiding all the ancient traps by the ancient architect Imhotep and trying to stay one step ahead of the other teams.
In the first Indiana Jones movie, there is an iconic scene where Indy is escaping from a booby trapped tomb. He's running as fast as he can as a giant stone ball is rolling after him, about to crush him into paste. Take that scene and multiply it by about 1,000 times and you get some idea of what the action in 7 Deadly Wonders is like. Ancient tombs, ingenious and deadly traps for grave robbers, breathtaking action scenes and dastardly villains keep this exciting adventure rolling along at warp speed. Jack West is a hardened hero with a soft spot for the little girl he rescued from the clutches of the power-hungry Jesuit Francisco del Piero and West's personal enemy, the backstabbing Colonel Marshall Judah. This is a classic, bigger than life adventure story that will appeal to fans of Clive Cussler, Michael Crichton and James Rollins.
Pursuit by Luiz Alfredo Garcia-RozaHenry Holt, February, 2006
Hardcover, 256 pages
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Chief Inspector Espinosa is on vacation and bored in his hometown of Copacabana, Brazil (his plans were altered when his wife was called to New York for an art seminar) when an unusual case presents itself. Psychiatrist Dr. Arthur Nesse tells Espinosa that his 17 year-old daughter has been kidnapped. He suspects one of his patients of kidnapping her. The patient's name is Isador Cruz, but he insists that the doctor call him Jonas. The doctor says that Jonas has been stalking his family: showing up at their home, angling to meet his daughter etc. But the more Inspector Espinosa investigates, the stranger the case becomes. Is it Jonas or the doctor who is paranoid? When murders start piling up, it will be up to Espinosa to sift through the conflicting evidence to find out who is telling the truth, identify a killer and find a missing girl.
In this fifth installment of the Brazilian crime series, Inspector Espinosa faces a confusing array of clues and suspects. With his wife out of town, Espinosa devotes his full energies to this intellectually taxing puzzle. Watching Espinosa work is a pleasure, as is this outstanding police procedural series.
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