PUBLISHER: Amazon Digital Services/Createspace
COVER DESIGN: Diana Wilder and Rembrandt
I’m sick of hearing agents and publishers disrespect the prologue. If written well, prologues work just fine. In fact, it was Sirocco’s intriguing prologue that snagged my attention. A few lines into Inge H. Borg’s thriller and I wanted to read more.
Sirocco, Storm over Land and Sea (Legends of the Winged Scarab) is like a contemporary, upscale version of Indiana Jones meets Dead Calm. Dr. Naunet Klein, a beautiful Egyptologist, leads an elite scientific team to the Land of the Pharaohs to study recently unearthed golden tablets. These artifacts may hold the key to Egyptian civilization’s ancient origins. Her team, including the dashing love interest Jonathan Wilkins, arrives during the tumultuous Arab Spring. They find themselves at odds with the headstrong Egyptian antiquities director, as well as being stalked by art thieves bent on stealing the precious tablets. Soon, Naunet is kidnapped and whisked away on a stolen yacht. Trapped between ruthless killers and the unrelenting sea, she must decipher the tablets to stay alive. All the while, Jonathan scours the Mediterranean in a desperate bid to save the woman he loves. But Naunet has uncovered the tablets’ dark secret, one which could spell doom for the entire world.
Sirocco is well edited, with solid prose, excellent dialogue, and an original plot. It is also
a sequel, the middle book in a three novel series. I had no idea when I started reading it, and, to the author’s credit, Sirocco stands strongly as a singular work. In fact, it’s a well-conceived gateway to either the prequel or the sequel. As you wade into the novel, you get hints of the previous book, but at no time will the reader get confused or lost. Borg should be applauded for her creative literary engineering.
Sirocco hits all the right notes for an airtight thriller, but the book did have a few rough patches. After the intriguing prologue, the novel slowed abruptly with a great deal of narration and background information. Thankfully, it eventually took off again and didn’t slow down for the remainder of the novel. Beyond the initial narration, character development felt somewhat thin as the story progressed. For example, I would have liked to see more spark and tension between Jonathan and Nanuet upfront, which would have further energized the novel’s otherwise enjoyable climax.
These small critiques aside, Sirocco’s blend of ancient mysteries, sailing, political intrigue, and murder make this thriller a delightful diversion. It also peaked my interest for the other two novels in the series.
3.5 out of 5 Stars.
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Brian L. Braden is a UBR partner and assistant editor. His articles have been featured in a variety of defense magazines, websites, and books to include the Military Times, Air Power Journal, and Oxford University Press. His debut novel, Black Sea Gods, is available on Amazon. The sequel, Tears of the Dead, is expected to be released later this year.