Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Aztec Heresy-Paul Christopher

The Aztec Heresy
Paul Christopher
Signet, Jul 2008, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451224521

In 1521 the Nuestra Senora was carrying treasure meant for the Spanish Royals, but it was lost at sea during a storm. Also gone is the Codex, the guide to where Cortez stole the gold and jewels from the Mayans he conquered. He did this because he knew that if he went back with all the booty he would be excommunicated and declared a heretic. In 1962 two hydrogen bombs were dropped from planes over the Yucatan.

In the present, in the general archives of the Indies in Seville Spain, treasure hunters Finn Ryan and Lord Billy Pilgrim are looking for clues to the lost treasure ship. Their efforts lead them to an Israeli spy who tells them to go to a Frenchman who owns a bookstore. He informs them of the chronicles of the Codex and where the ship is located. It is held by psychotic drug dealer Guzman who makes a deal with pharmaceuticals businessman James Noble and his son Harrison. Guzman has the two bombs dropped over forty years ago and hopes to deal with his Cuban allies who want them. There is going to be a showdown on the Yucatan as different groups want the bombs, the treasure ship and the Codex; all tied to the man who would be King of Mexico Guzman.

THE AZTEC HERESY is an action-packed thriller with a persistent heroine mindful of Lara Croft. The scenarios are set up so that the escapades could easily be seen as a Caribbean movie (starring a female Indiana Jones). However, readers do not get to know the characters very well because the emphasis is on the adventures that keep on coming one after another. Readers who appreciate a fast-paced 200 proof action adventure thriller will want to read Paul Christopher’s engrossing epic.

Harriet Klausner