FACEOFF: Two Stories reviewed by Fran Lewis
Silent Hunt: John Lescroart and T. Jefferson Parker
The Devil’s Bones: Steve Berry and James Rollins
Wyatt Hunt vs. Joe Trona
Cotton Malone vs. Gary Pierce
Which character is the strongest, the best mystery thriller character and which character helps move the story along. Which character in Silent Hunt helps to take down the Zetas when they strong-arm a family? The story focuses on Mexico’s narcotrafficantos. There are serious problems with drugs on a daily basis and the two authors bring to light what happens when a poor fisherman owns and possess something that could possibly lure the local narcotrafficantos to their village and want to steal it. Remember: This is a poor fishing community and the threat is on this tightly knitted hard working family. What if someone found a gold mine? What if the community of Baja California is the setting what would draw these gangsters out and what happens when a young teen finds a hidden stash of gold that would provide money for an electric generator to make ice and run refrigerators, power streetlights and improve the lives of so many?
Enter Wyatt Hunt and Joe Trona who just want to spend some days fishing and enjoying the scenery. But their chance encounter starts off on a hilarious note as Hunt enters the airport, asks a stranger to attend to his duffel bag only to come back from the restroom to chase an unknown thief who appears to be taking off with his duffel bag. Meet Joe Trona and read the exchange between them as they settle their argument and become fast friends. Little do they know that their fishing trip, the captain in charge and the day would bring them face to face with a gang known as the Zeta’s? The story focuses on a group dealing in drugs and the term narcotraficante is associated with them. It is usually used for the members in the group that are higher up in the criminal organization or to describe the organization as a whole.
- Person dealing in drugs. The expression is usually used for those higher up in the criminal hierarchy, or to describe the organization as a whole. http://www.ocolombia.com/article/a-narco-dictionary.html
Meet Hector and those working for him. They represent the cruelest drug cartel. When the Mexican government finally arrested these people the bloody drug war did not seem to slow down.
Reading and learning more about the Zetas and their cartel authors John Lescroart and T. Jefferson Parker enlighten readers as to why these cartel members are so dangerous, the risk taken when the government goes after them and the fact that the drug lord is usually linked to the deaths of hundreds of migrants and charged with drug trafficking, murder and torture and much more. They are noted as the most dangerous and notorious of Mexico’s drug cartels and in this story their focus is on hunt and Trona as they decide to spend a day on Captain Israel ‘s panga called the Luna Sombrero. This is where the action takes off, as the day starts out calm, baseball game that night and fishing. As Trona instructs Hunt in the art of catching a fish and pointing out his mistakes little does anyone know that trouble is just a short SUV away. The Zetas as the baseball game begins make their appearance and a young girl named Angelica and Israel’s three small children tag Joe. Telling him about Hector and who he is and why he left their town of Aqua Amarga to become a Zeta she explains that he is known for his cruelty and torturing of victims. Now, he has come for Joaquin, Hector’s son who he claims has something he wants. Supposedly Joaquin found gold in the hills in one of the gold mines. The boys are all over the place always digging and searching and the Zetas want the gold. Baiting those on the panga, taunting Israel it will be up to Hunt and Trona to find a way to save the young man, Israel and take care of Hector. But, Hunt had an idea but not before Hector uses Israel and others as punching bags. The action is heart stopping on page 297 and the end result will definitely surprise readers. As Trona and Hunt choose a place to hide and watch the action. The Zetas kill their engines, lit up cigarettes and pull their weapons. But, they were not match for these two as they disarmed some, took down others and pretending to be smashed both Joe and Wyatt put on a show that make the best Laurel and Hardy comedy pale by comparison. Quick thinking, fast movements, blindsiding these thugs, Joe and Hunt hope to save Israel and his family. But, will Israel give in to their demands? Will his son tell all or will he keep quiet? Who owns the mine? Does the government have someone on the inside? What does lies and betrayals are told? Who gets the gold? Who lives another day? What will the final outcome be? How will the Mexican security forces deal with the narcotrafficantes? How were the tables turned? Find out when you read Silent Hunt! Think about the title and think about which character: Hunt or Trona is the strongest! My take: You decide. This is one story that will keep you guessing even after you read the final words and the ending. Will these two characters faceoff again? Let’s hope so because this story is far from over.
Fran Lewis: reviewer
The Devil’s Bones: Steve Berry and James Rollins:
Cotton Malone vs: Gary Pierce
Imagine an orchid that is so deadly it can destroy a person’s body. Two men after the same thing but what happens will endanger them both, test their skills and hopefully take out the one person responsible for so many deaths. Edward Trask is an ethnobotanist from Oxford University. As James Rollins’s Gary Pierce goes in search of this man whom they claimed disappeared in the Brazilian Jungle then resurfaced with a story of adventures, deprivation, lost tribes and even enlightenment. But, this was a ruse to cover up the truth. Trask was a total fake, a fraud who spouted his jargon and talked about his ordeal on Good Morning America and the Daily Show. Returning from the Brazilian Rainforest after claiming that he was missing for three years. In his possession this man had tons of rare botanical specimens, roots, flowers, leaves and bark for the pharmaceutical company that paid for his trip. Stating that what he learned might cure cancer, impotency and even cardiac problems. He claimed that he returned with anecdotal stories for all of the samples that said the shaman of the tribe told him. But, these samples and his words were useless and with nothing and the company made sure that no one said anything about it to the public. But, things changes and this man found a rare flower, still unclassified in the orchid family that held “an organic neurotoxin a hundredfold deadlier than sarin. This man’s find was dangerous as he analyzed and purified the toxin in his own private lab. This monster offered what he found for auction stating that its chemical analysis, its potential, and showing how it was used on chimpanzees.
Things got out of control and his old boss called Cotton Malone and his task was to get the orchid. Here is where two worlds meet as Cotton enters from one side Gary from another and what happens will surprise readers. Each one barging inside, dressed in paramilitary uniforms, faces hidden the scene is quite vividly depicted by both authors and the characters had to work together real fast to find Trask. But, as Malone races down the passageway of the boat they are on, both men former soldiers, both recruited into intelligence services, worked together fro one goal. Finding the passengers of the boat cloistered in one room, guns pointed at them we meet a groups of people equally as dangerous as Trask. Bodies all over the place, passengers afraid and one man who holds the key to a biotoxin that both Malone and Pierce want. Huesos del Diablo: The Devil’s Bones the name sued for this plant. Finding the tribe that knew about it this man learned that tens of thousands of people lived there in this unrecorded civilization. But, what he did to the tribesman and the shaman would not endear him to either Pierce or Malone. The plague killed in sections and wilted the person’s flesh from their bones. Using this dark orchid that grew near by and was the source of the plague he made sure to use it on those that were teaching him and the whole tribe.
Trask captured and these two men had no choice put to work together to save him but really to get the biotoxin. One for the Magellan Billet and the other fro DARPA. As you read just how they find him, their reaction to what he tells them as both men realize that this man is not worth saving but they have no choice. Working together, each employing his own strength, Trask wound up tossed into the assault team. Four gunmen. Rifles pointed and Trask raises his hands to give up. Each man taunting the other and neither giving an inch these two characters provide an interesting faceoff as they have to make snap decisions, work fast and watch as the guerillas strike Trask. When the vials are found and Trask has them what happens when the assault force leader wants to throw Trask into the water. Will these two attempts to save him? What about those left in the village? Malone takes one and Pierce cool and calm another and their pretended drunken stupor and their comedic stunt will mystify readers, have your rooting for both of them and wondering whether Malone can keep up with Pierce and if these two could create a fake out so brilliantly created by both authors that the ending will not only surprise you but the final outcome will not make it easy for you to decide which character wins this faceoff.
What happens to Trask? Read the story and see if you care! Steve Berry’s Cotton Malone and James Rollins’s Gary Pierce: Two strong characters, two different styles you decide the winner.
Fran Lewis: Reviewer