It is always a pleasure to read a new book by a good adventure/thriller writer, but rarely have I been so blown away as I was by this one.
Tom Harper has written many books in his time. He’s been a professional writer for some fifteen years now, I think, but generally he stuck to cosy crime books, nothing that was too challenging. However in the last years he has grown enormously. His last book, Zodiac Station, was an excellent story, with all the excitement of a Hammond Innes or Alistair Maclean, but brought up to date with the science involved. Now, I think he’s topped even that.
Black River is set in the Peruvian Amazon. Kel MacDonald, an anaesthetist, is teased into joining a group who are to set out on the adventure of a lifetime. The leader of their party, Anton, thinks he has discovered the site of the legendary lost city of Paititi, supposedly where they will find fabulous gold and treasure. All those taking part will become rich and famous. How could a man approaching middle age turn down an opportunity like that? Especially when Anton’s girlfriend, the beautiful Drew, is going too?
But paramilitaries, drug cartels, wildcat prospectors, and the Native Indians, all pose their own threats. The last group to travel this way has disappeared. As have all the previous ones.
Harper has woven a brilliant crime story into this action adventure tale.
I challenge you to try to put it down once you’ve started reading it. I couldn’t!