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Friday, October 3, 2014

Emerald By Garner Scott Odell

by Terrance Mc Arthur

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review, along with a video interview with Garner.

What do you need in a suspense thriller?
• A man you can root for…or a woman…or a man and a woman (but if you have a man and a woman, you know that will cause complications).
• A man you can hate (well, it could be a woman) who has some force driving him to do things that are considered evil.
• A goal (world domination, a priceless treasure) that is so desired that people would die or kill for it. Alfred Hitchcock referred to it as the McGuffin, based on an old joke (the McGuffin was used to hunt lions in the Sahara Desert. Wait; there aren’t any lions in the Sahara. That’s the McGuffin!).

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In Emerald by Garner Scott Odell, David and Miriam are agents of Israel’s secretive Mossad. He can’t stand her, even though he knows she’s a better marksman than he is. She finds him cocky and undisciplined and he snores. When two characters grate on each other that much, you know what’s going to happen, right? Uh-huh.

David and Miriam are chasing Hans Huber, son of the bodyguard of Adolf Eichmann, the notorious Nazi who was captured by Israeli agents. Hans’ father was killed (and Hans was injured) during the abduction, so he hates the Jews and loves everything his father, Eichmann, and Hitler stood for. He kills, and enjoys killing, marking his victims with the sign of the Nazi SS. He’s not a nice guy, but he is fascinating.

Image source: Garner Scott Odell

The goal Huber chases is a fabulous, hen’s- egg-sized emerald, a jewel that goes back to the time of the conquistadors. Huber’s family owned it for a while, and Hans believes it belongs to him by right, and he will do anything to make it his, even if…especially if it means murder. The inspiration for the book’s jewel was a real emerald that vanished from history around the 1930s.

Odell’s world travels as a cruise-ship chaplain are reflected in his sense of history and his careful use of details create a crystalline vision of the times and settings. The characters are colorful, from a tongue-less African to a half-Chinese mob employee, to a passel of international law enforcement officials who try to aid the Israelis in their work. The pace and tension keep growing higher. Who ever thought a high-class auction house would be a setting for a high-stakes thriller?

There are some proofreading problems, but this Emerald is a gem.

Video Interview with Garner Scott Odell:

To enter to win a copy of Emerald, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Emerald,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen October 11, 2014. U.S. residents only.

Terrance V. Mc Arthur is a Community Librarian for the WoW! (WithOut Walls) Division of the Fresno County Public Library, roaming the Valley to meet the public's information needs.

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