First up: Ark of Fire by C.M. Palov - reviewed by our own @MrNeil98!
What do S. E. Hinton, J. K. Rowling and C. M. Palov have in common? Yes, they are writers, but more specifically female writers who were encouraged to use their initials to hide their gender from the predominantly male target audience. Let’s face it guys, this is the 21st century! We shouldn’t be threatened by a woman with a pen (or laptop, as the case may be). Sue Grafton and Patricia Cornwall follow a well worn trail blazed by Agatha Christie in crime/mysteries, but the genre of thrillers is still dominated by male authors.
C(Chloe). M. Palov’s debut novel Ark of Fire attracted my attention with blurbs by James Rollins (“Heart-stopping suspense, ancient mysteries, and roller-coaster action. A true gem.") and Steve Berry ("A thrilling romp with a plot that unfolds with vivid velocity to an explosive conclusion. The story crackles with tension and imagination from the first to the last page."). Any book garnering the praise of my two favorite authors is worth a read, and I was not disappointed.
From the opening murder of a D. C. museum curator to a shoot out in the National Gallery, then on to England and finally Malta, “Ark” is a nonstop thrill ride. Throw in some ancient puzzle to solve and an evil mysterious organization and you’ve got a female Dan Brown with a side of Steve Berry. Did I mention the sought after relics: the breast plate “Stones of Fire” that Moses wore and the trope, the Ark of the Covenant. With those elements in place, there is only one thing missing…. Romance.
As photographer Edie Miller gets tangled in the mystery and intrigue, she joins forces with an archeological author, the prudish Caedmon Aisquith. Together they try to evade the villains, solve the puzzle and discover the whereabouts of the golden Ark, concealed by Crusaders 800 years ago. Is it the Ark of the Covenant? Do I sense a budding romance? You’ll have to read it to find out. I, for one, am looking forward to the follow-up “The Templar’s Code” due out in November. In the meantime let “Ark of Fire” heat up your already too warm summer.
And next: Vigilante by Claude Bouchard @ceebee308, reviewed by our very own @cristynwest
The debut title from Twitter superstar @ceebee308 is a gritty look at what creates and propels a person to seek justice outside the law.
The chapter grips you with a painful yet heartfelt scene of a family destroyed priming the pump for the mayhem that ensues.
This is a tight, fast-paced, multi-layed story that dives deeper and deeper into the mystery of who and why these vigilante style murders are happening.
Besides the great story telling and ultimately satisfying conclusion, you can dig into Vigilante knowing that Claude has several other books in the series so no waiting around for him to write the next. You can get your Bouchard fix immediately!
You can purchase Vigilante at: http://bit.ly/9Z4Fn1 and hook up with the author on Twitter #ceebee308
*My only caveat to this review is that for women who are not that fond of rape imagery might find the beginning of this book a bit challenging