Friday, February 20, 2015

Thriller with Classic Elements of the Genre

More than 65 reviews of Valley of Thracians have been posted on Amazon and the overwhelming majority of them have been quite favorable. By chance I recently discovered two additional reviews of the novel, and I decided to share them with you. Here they are:

Classic Reacher with a twist

Mysterious disappearances, betrayals, loyalty. Crooks, cops, an enigmatic archaeologist, helpful strangers. All these come together against a backdrop of beautiful Bulgarian vistas, crowded cities and down-to-earth rural villages.

The story is a thriller with all the classic elements of the genre. A Peace Corps volunteer has disappeared and clues don't fit the official reports. A doting grandpa tries to find the truth, persevering against all odds. There are villains and good guys swirling around a priceless lost treasure, hide-and-seek chases all over the country, crowded festivals and lonely mountaintops, drugs and guns.

As we follow the twists and turns of the plot we are treated to fascinating lessons in Bulgarian culture, geography, customs and folkways, mores and ways of thinking. The writer's observations about the country are always relevant to the action, as well as being informative and fascinating. There are enough plot twists to engage the diehard mystery reader, and enough human interest angles to warm anyone's heart.

The author's detailed and colorful Bulgaria knowledge shows that he has "been there," and there's good reason for that authenticity. He lived and worked in Bulgaria, and he was obviously a serious observer of the place, its history and people.

For anyone who loves Bulgaria, and even more for anyone who has never thought about Bulgaria, this book is an excellent read

August 28, 2014
Source: Sainsbury's Entertainment

* * *

Another great read!

Like many Americans, I knew basically nothing about Bulgaria. Now, thanks to the author’s vivid descriptions, I can see almost believe I’ve been there and experienced the rich culture, tasted the food, befriended the ‘natives’. I can close my eyes and see the historic monasteries and fortresses, and the ancient Thracian artifacts on display in museums. But this book is more than just a travel guide.

The story begins as we follow Simon, a likeable character who has set out to find a grandson missing in Bulgaria for three years. The young man’s parents, the American Embassy, and the Bulgarian police have long since given up on finding him, dead or alive. Simon is befriended by an archaeologist who helps him on his quest. But Simon has a hard time believing such a beguiling woman could be attracted to him. So why she is being so helpful? Why she is so interested in the case of the missing boy?

Simon’s search comes up empty and he’s about to head back to the States, when someone deliberately leaves him a clue. From this point, the plot takes off. The story moves back and forth from past to present and is told from multiple viewpoints, but is never confusing. The action builds with smuggled artifacts, car chases, and murders. Thugs and smugglers converge against a stunning backdrop of mountains, forests, and historic sites. This was an easy, enjoyable read with a satisfying conclusion.

September 16, 2014
Source: Sainsbury's Entertainment

Read more reviews of Valley of Thracians.

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