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The Mayan Conspiracy by Graham Brown

His former CIA colleagues want him dead and Interpol want to arrest him, but all Hawker wants to do is find a way out.

Government agent Danielle Laidlaw may be his only solution. She needs a pilot for her secret mission to find the lost Mayan city of Tulan Zuyu. In return for Hawker’s services, she promises a way home that doesn’t involve a body bag.

But, as an unseen enemy stalks the rainforests, leaving battered corpses in its wake, they are about to discover that they’re not the only people looking Tulan Zuyu and the secrets it may hold.

When the seasons change, my attitude towards books tends to shift slightly. During the months that we laughably call the great British Summer I enjoy a bit of what I like to call beach reading. What is beach reading you may ask? Well, I suppose the best way to describe it is books, that tend to fall into the category thriller, that don’t require much in the way of emotional investment. Now that is not to say that they are bad books, far from it. They offer the literary equivalent of a summer blockbuster, or a thrill ride. You enjoy the experience, and can happily immerse yourself in the action for a couple of hours, and then walk away feeling entertained. Not a life changing read but some satisfying fun.

In Mayan Conspiracy, a small group of mercenaries and government contractors are sent into the heart of the Amazon to locate an ancient city and confirms rumors of an artifact that maybe the key to the world’s future. Meanwhile in the United States a political game of cat and mouse begins between key players in the race to claim ownership of the artifact.

The two parallel narrative strands work quite well, but personally I would have liked to have known a bit more of what was going on in Washington. The political elements in the novel are as enthralling as the action unfolding in the rainforest.

The character of Danielle Laidlaw is a highlight. She is a strong natural leader, and as things go from bad to worse she proves her mettle time and time again. She is responsible for the group and will stop at nothing to get them home in one piece. Her strength and resolve shine through. It was great to see her get as involved in the action as her male contemporaries

Hawker is the other main character, but he remains a bit of a mystery throughout. In his past, he has worked with the CIA but the reader doesn’t learn much more than that. There is a sequel called Black Sun due in the future so I hope Hawker will return and more of his past will be revealed. I think he has real potential as an action hero.

The action is fast paced as the group moves from one perilous situation to another. The Amazonian backdrop adds a nice claustrophobic feel. The jungle canopy only allows around a tenth of the sun’s light to reach ground level so there are plenty of dark shadows where predators can lurk.

The Mayan Conspiracy by Graham Brown is a good example of beach reading. I would certainly recommend considering this as a suitable purchase for your holidays this year. If you read the likes of Matthew Reilly, James Rollins or Clive Cussler, then you should give this a go. I certainly enjoyed this debut and I’ll look forward to reading Mr Brown’s next novel.

The Mayan Conspiracy


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