Saturday, December 12, 2009

Black Rain-Graham Brown

Black Rain
Graham Brown
Dell, Jan 26 2010, $7.99
ISBN 9780553592412

National Research Institute (NRI) undercover operative Danielle Laidlaw leads a specially selected team on a journey into the Brazilian Amazon Rainforest in search of a lost legendary Mayan Underworld Xibalba. Their goal is to learn the source of mysterious radioactive crystals that appears to be a cheap clean energy source brought back in artifacts by Blackjack Martin in 1926, but ignored until now.

In Manaus, Brazil, colleague Arnold Moore shocks her when he tells her she goes in alone as Operations Director Gibbs recalled him to DC. Irate but intrepid Laidlaw trusts no one on this expedition to have her back; as Moore was the one person she would and could depend on with her life. Having her transportation and supplies bought from under her; Laidlaw knows her party is not the only group searching for Xibalba. Ruthless billionaire Richard Kaufman will kill to monopolize the technology. Danger also lurks from tribes like the nomadic Chollokwan that kill trespassers and a strange creature that is even more dangerous. Unbeknownst to Laidlaw and her team is that they are the second unit NRI sent into the Amazon; the first group is presumed dead.

Black Rain is an exciting Mayan mythological thriller with a frantic pace once Laidlaw leaves Manaus for the jungle. Filled with violence and brutality including some unnecessarily overly described passages that feel more like page fillers than graphic escapades, readers will be caught up with one of the fastest action-packed thrillers of the year; seat belts are a requirement.

Harriet Klausner