Isabel Soto Finley is determined to make a trip to South America, especially to the country of Chile. Her mother, who is Chilean by birth but fled the country due to political violence under the Pinochet regime, does not want her daughter to travel to Chile for fear of something happening to her. Isabel turns a deaf ear to her mother’s concerns, and she and her college roommate Sandy set off on their planned trip. When things do go wrong, it falls to Isabel’s brother Calixto, a Special Forces soldier, to track them down.
This intriguing political thriller was highly entertaining and a little addictive as well. Several story lines run simultaneously through the book, which makes it hard to put down. There is a family drama on the one hand and on the other the Chilean military forming a shadow government intent on keeping power and protecting its secrets. Then there is the American government, or officials within it, who have been, if not aiding and abetting the Chilean criminals, then at the very least turning a blind eye. All of this makes for a complex but riveting story line.
I liked the back-and-forth structure of the story. One minute the reader is with Calixto at the School of the Americas, training in a swamp, and the next minute in a Chilean villa with members of the army discussing strategies for hiding their lucrative business ventures. The short chapters that switch from one scene to another made this not only an enjoyable story but one that kept me turning pages to see what happened next.
I also like the fact that the story contained excellent dialogue and character development. That made this seem like a very visual novel. Overall, I felt like I was traveling around in various South American cities with the characters. I did, however, think that the Prologue could have been a bit more descriptive; it seemed somewhat generic to me. Also, the opening of Chapter Two appeared to be a bit abrupt; I think I would have appreciated a line or two introducing the characters of Mike and John, which I don’t believe would have taken away from the “mystery” of the Burdis character. It does become apparent as one reads along what the author is trying to convey in the “Burdis story,” but a line or two at the beginning would have made a smooth transition into this story. I also missed an Epilogue at the end letting me know what happened when Isabel returned home. The author spends a lot of time on the family in Tuscon, but he didn’t return to it at the end of the book. I missed that.
Nevertheless, I thought this was an interesting international political thriller with enough action and twists and turns to keep me riveted right until the end. I wouldn’t hesitate to read this author again. In fact, I’m wondering if Calitxto Lozen will appear in any further installments?
|Page Count||422 pages|
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|Category||Mystery, Crime, Thriller|