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by Andy McDermott
Headline, June 2008
506 pages
19.99 GBP
ISBN: 0755339134

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

As everyone knows by now, I am a sucker for Clive Cussler type willy wagger thrillers and THE TOMB OF HERCULES is right up my alley.

After having found Atlantis, archeologist Nina Wilde is now, at the ripe old age of 29, director of operations for the IHA, an organization within the UN set up to protect cultural artifacts. Eddie Chase, ex-SAS man, is her live-in bodyguard.

Three months before the story opens, the dome protecting Atlantis in the Gulf of Cadiz was destroyed by terrorists who stole information before sinking the structure with all residents aboard. It was determined to be an accident.

As the story opens, Nina and Eddie are on a 350-foot yacht in New York Harbor at a party given by René Corvus, one of the richest men in the world. Nina has become accustomed to living as one of the elite, but Eddie, a Yorkshireman, likes nothing better than a pint and a football game on the telly. He feels ill at ease and is uncomfortable when Dr. Nina Wilde introduces him as her boyfriend.

Another non-executive director of IHA lands on the vessel. He's a wealthy Shanghai businessman with his wife, Lady Sophia. Eddie and Nina have a disagreement and, after they manage to get home, each goes his own way - Nina back to the Platonic manuscript that contains, she hopes, clues to the whereabouts of Hercules' tomb and Eddie to Shanghai to rescue Sophia from a loveless marriage.

The action never stops after that. Wilde and Chase follow the money from Switzerland to Shanghai to Botswana to London to North Africa and back to New York. They follow the money and corruption, searching for the lost tomb of Hercules but finding corruption in unexpected places.

This is a very fast moving thriller. Don't expect much character development. People act pretty much as you'd expect but if you like stories with lots of action and all sorts of unexpected developments, this is the book for you, especially if you have a long plane ride ahead of you and want to carry only one book.

Reviewed by Barbara Franchi, May 2008

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