Ribbons Of Death
By Edita A. Petrick
There is an ancient legend that one of the gods cursed humanity. A figure known as the Peacetaker is born repeatedly throughout the centuries. Does that legend bear any truth? Professor Stella Hunter, author of a mythology book, didn’t think so. That is until an enigmatic stranger named Carter shows her a video of a women’s rally that turned tragic. This is followed by a suddenly violent Washington demonstration. Is there an actual person who can turn ordinary people into killers? If so, how can he, or she, be stopped. Hunter and Carter must find the answer before the world devolves into chaos.
I enjoy mysteries/adventures with history mixed with fiction. Legends, ancient documents, secret cabals, all that sort of thing. This book is a dip into that pool. Adventure and intrigue abound.
Stella Hunter: 45, professor at Michigan University, published author, married with children, a bit overweight, orange hair, parents-dead-were missionaries, attended Oxford, used to play softball, has a peanut allergy
Nicola Moses: 65, billionaire, dusky skin, black hair, dark eyes, married with children, owns the Meridian Obelisk Corporation, has three sisters who are dead, parents and other family dead, attended Oxford
Timothy J. Carter: 43, not his real name, divorced, has a teenage daughter while the other daughter is dead, former Army Ranger, works as a government contractor
Paige Smith: FBI agent in Washington D.C., used to work in Atlanta, freckled
Kevin Denton: Smith’s partner
Martin Kirsch: director of a museum in Toronto, wears glasses, drives a BMW SUV
Abigail McEwan: museum curator, married with a daughter, Ph.d, had an affair with Hunter’s husband, has similar features to Hunter’s
I like the interplay between Hunter and Carter. Hunter’s the stronger and Carter, I think, enjoys exasperating her often. I kept waiting for Carter’s strengths to come through, but for awhile he basically followed Hunter wherever she thought she needed to go. He made good points this only went to show Hunter’s expertise. For much of the time, he seemed bored by the entire mess. Even though he played hero sometimes, he was less action-oriented than I would have thought.
Good voices. The biggest concern I have with these types of stories is that they tend to become lectur-ish because somebody has to explain to the reader what is going on. Has to explain the history, the legends, etc. Sometimes, those lectures become lengthy and I get to the point of thinking, “Get on with it.” Meaning the story.
This book had some lecturing but each time the conversation didn’t turn into a marathon session. The ‘history’ was concise and to the point with little interruption or digression.
One problem I’ve encountered a lot in recent reviews: sentences used as tag lines that can’t be tag lines. It isn’t a major problem, but an instance or two.
Some chapters headed by location and date and Egyptian mythology.
Profanity. A few misspelled words, but not enough to distract. Okay, it’s a little thing, but I did tire of Hunter and Carter constantly mulling over how their quarry entered the country legally. The author overused the word legally. Yes, it was over several chapters, but find another word or way of saying the same thing over and over.
I enjoyed the action, the ‘chase’ to find the answer by Hunter and Carter. The ending, though, was anti-climactic. Sure, our heroes avoided the danger and saved an innocent, but the rescue was a bit quick and the fate of one of the guilty parties wasn’t explained. Well, it was, sort of, but I would have enjoyed a classic showdown or concrete evidence of the person’s demise. As to the other guilty party, his fate was fitting but I would have liked to have seen it, rather than been told about it. (You know, the old adage about showing not telling?)
Because of the several bits of off-ness mentioned with character strength and writing, and even though I enjoyed the book, I have to be fair. So…