Lexa Tantaros sure can stir things up. To some, she is a thief. To herself and possibly Agent Max Finley, she is a woman on a worthy cause. A cause to let the world see the treasures contained within. The story follows the wanted archaeologist as she searches for the treasure of El Dorado. It will take blood, sweat and tears to get there and gather all the necessary clues. Governments are after her, but she’s not fazed. Will she be successful in her mission? Can El Dorado be found or is it merely fable?
James McPike has created an action thriller that takes off quickly and does not slow down. He takes the reader on a journey across Peru, keeping you on the edge of your seat. One minute you think they’ll definitely be smoked out. The next minute has them hurtling down an abyss. The story has so much character, and the plot is encased in excellent prose, with just the right amount of drama.
The character development is ingenious. Lexa is a woman who can charm anyone. She’s not fazed by much even when bullets are flying. She only seems to be a little frazzled in the last moments before she is placed on the ledge where she is to plunge to her death. I always enjoy a strong female protagonist that emotionally develops throughout the story. Max is torn between his service to country and his instinct about Lexa. I enjoyed watching these characters interact.
While the history between Max and Lexa is obviously of consequence, it seems like Max gives in to Lexa too easily. It feels like there should be some sort of struggle before he trusts her so blindly. With Max being a self-proclaimed best, right? He leaves her unattended on the very first night he finds her. This is quickly forgotten though as the reader is taken on the adventure through Peru. Also it seems like the end may justify those initial actions.
This is a short but engaging read. You can feel the palpable chemistry between the characters. There is a sort of James Bond-ish ending which is absolutely delightful.
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Raven and the Panther follows ‘Raven’ as she relentlessly pursues her uncle’s killers. What served as your inspiration for this thrilling novel?
The inspiration for this book is my wife’s family. The Myth, Bill was a real person. (He’s no longer with us) Barbara Ann (AKA Raven) is actually my wife. I’ve embellished her personality, to fit the character. The inspiration for this series is only limited by my imagination. I was ten years old when I saw my first James Bond Movie, been hooked since.
Raven is an interesting character that I enjoyed watching develop throughout the novel. What were some themes you wanted to capture in her character?
I wanted the reader to know she wasn’t a bad person, she loved her uncle Bill so much, she was willing to become who she was to seek out and terminate his killer. As the story developed, I knew she would succeed, not because I’m the author, she is just as determined in real life. Both my wife Barbara Ann and I have a firm conviction if you stick to your principles, treat everyone the same, be honest in life and help those who deserve it, Karma will prevail and it has, we have lived a blessed life. I focus more on this in the books that follow Raven and the Panther.
I really enjoyed how this novel was action packed and filled with interesting characters. What was your favorite scene to write?
The last chapter, when Raven walked out on the Foundation at her cabin. She knew who ordered her uncles kill, but the Foundation wouldn’t let her terminate him, so she did what I know the REAL Raven would have done-walked. Also, it set up the next book.. Raven Gone Rogue. Barbara Ann is somewhat like the character Raven, dedicated to a cause, focused when needed, but loving, kind and generous. My wife is truly a copy of Raven, just not to the extreme as the character is portrayed.
What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?
The next book is Raven Gone Rogue available now.
Raven Anderson, top female agent for The Foundation, has gone rogue. Her longtime lover, Naci Vacara, a direct decedent of the Foundation’s matriarch, desperately tried to convince Raven not to leave the ranks of the agency. His loyalty to The Foundation forced him to put her in his sites. Raven, now the hunted, teamed up with Morgan, one of the most feared agents in the world. Together they developed an unusual relationship, faced one challenge after another until Raven discovered something in her past.
Raven Gone Rogue takes readers on another wild ride, filled with action, adventure, devastation, mystery, romance and wealth. Raven Anderson, a woman who gets what she wants, is on top of her game. A game, the reader secretly would like to imitate.
Raven Anderson was raised by her Grandmother and Uncle where she enjoyed the slow-paced country lifestyle until one event changed everything. Her beloved Uncle, a father figure, was unexpectedly and brutally murdered. On her journey to seek revenge, Raven discovered her uncle’s secret life, a world she didn’t even know existed.
Raven’s journey and relentless desire to hunt down her Uncle’s killer put her in the cross-hairs of an organization whose members included people she had known her whole life. Raven and the Panther takes the reader on a wild ride filled with action and adventure, erotic romance and revenge.
Posted in Interviews
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Point of Return by Lloyd Tosoff is an action thriller set in Great Britain. The story centers on a struggling, naive accountant Ian MacLeod and his entanglement with a murder conspiracy concocted by the Glaswegian underworld. He doesn’t become involved by choice because it is his friends who choose to mess with the Glasgow mob and their violent ways. He left the city, but after becoming an accountant, being in a loveless marriage, and losing his job, he ends up going back. He meets an old friend and a stranger when he arrives, and the mystery and conflict begin to envelop him as he realizes he has to fight for his life or lose it.
This novel is part of a “double novel” series, but Point of Return stands on its own as a snappy thriller that follows Ian Fleming’s Bond series. The first chapter begins with MacLeod still in Glasgow and his decision to leave the city, and then we jump eleven years into the future to when the real action starts, and the story picks up from there.
In many ways, Tosoff follows the regular beats for the unsuspecting hero to be swept up into a conspiracy and for a thriller, this trope is not a particularly unusual one. The real grit of Tosoff is how he chooses to have MacLeod deal with his past and personal connection to Glasgow instead. A victim of abuse at the hands of a violent stepfather, his inner demons come through in small bits and shapes his character. The reader is gradually introduced to these pieces of MacLeod’s past, and for the reader, it helps invest more of themselves in the narrative and our precarious hero.
The atmosphere and pacing do wonders for this book, which is critical for a thriller and Tosoff manages all of these elements quite well. The few times that the novel does become predictable it’s uniquely colored by MacLeod’s past struggles and how he faces them. I hope that his past conflicts come to a better resolution in the sequel, Vanquished, which takes place immediately following this novel, because I can’t wait to see what happens.
This novel is a perfect fit for fans of crime and spy thrillers, and fans of Ian Fleming may find a welcome new home among Tosoff’s pages.
Pages: 560 | ASIN: 1505533090
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