Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Murder and deciet and a big ol' bomb!

Guardian of Lies: A Paul Madriani Novel
By Steve Martini
William Morrow; $26.99

A gorgeous Costa Rican girl is wooed by a wealthy older American man, and she assumes it’s because of her youth and beauty. Little does she realize that it’s not her looks that appeals to him, but her family connections. And that could prove deadly for a lot of people.

Steve Martini, the master of suspense thrillers, delivers an action-packed tale of murder and deceit in his latest Paul Madriani novel, “Guardian of Lies.”

Katia Solaz has been brought to the United States by Emerson Pike, a renowned coin collector. But her visit turns odd when Emerson becomes enthralled with a series of photographs found on her camera. Holding Katia in relative captivity, the old man scrutinizes the six photos that Katia’s mother had taken in Columbia. What was so fascinating about those photos? And why was he so insistent that Katia remain by his side?

When at last she’s had enough, Katia steals a few of Emerson’s coins and flees the beachside mansion-turned prison. When she is caught a few hours later, she is arrested not for theft but for the murder of Emerson Pike. She remembers meeting a lawyer during a recent hurried grocery shopping trip, and asks that he be called to represent her.

Paul Madriani is surprised, but flattered, to be called to the aid of the beautiful girl he met while she was shopping for plantains. But when he can’t come up with an alibi as to his whereabouts the night of Pike’s murder, Madriani switches into overdrive to find out why Pike was killed, and Katia’s connection to it.

Mix in a bunch of escaped Guantanomo detainees, a drug cartel, an aging Soviet warrior, and an assassin called The Mexicutioner, and you have a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the jungles of Columbia and into the halls of American justice. Add in an ancient missing weapon of mass destruction from the Cuban Missile Crisis days, and it becomes explosive! (sorry!!!)

Normally, I’m not into “manly” books such as Martini’s, but I found “Guardian of Lies” absolutely riveting. His characters are interesting, the story flows well from one situation to the next without confusing the reader, and you don’t know how it all will end until…well, the end.

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