Thursday, February 23, 2012
Book Review - The Lagarto Stone by Gordon N McIntosh
The Lagarto Stone - A Novel
by Gordon N McIntosh
About the Author
Gordon N. McIntosh began writing mysteries and thrillers after a master's degree from the University of Chicago and a successful real estate career. After an early retirement he and his wife traveled and lived extensively in Mexico, South America, Australia and Europe. Now they split their time between their homes in Chicago and Key West, Florida. When he’s not writing, he enjoys running, scuba diving, tennis, and travel.
Why should a man lift a finger-much less risk his life-for a mother who abandoned him as an infant? But when a mortally wounded Mexican passes Doug Sutherland a scrawled note, he must overcome resentment and phobias to save her, recover a priceless pre-Columbian artifact, and battle a ruthless smuggler.
For Sutherland, a thirty-something Chicago entrepreneur, the note is meaningless. The warning that his Mexican mother is in danger puzzles him. Even if it is true, why should he care? She deserted him thirty years ago. Besides, his life is already complicated by his relationship with his girlfriend, a deadline for his real estate project, and a recent rash of nightmares. In these vivid dreams, a "burning man" stalks him, then he's trapped in a small space, and thrown into an icy grave.
Doug tries to convince himself that the message was meant for someone else. But then his apartment is invaded, he receives threatening calls from a Mexican smuggler, the police accuse him of drug dealing, and a DEA agent harasses him. Sucked into a maelstrom, he must fight-or become a victim.
When a young man turns up at his office carrying a message from his mam, Doug Sutherland's life is turned inside out. Not only is the young man fatally wounded but Doug hasn't spoken or seen his mam for over 30 years.
In tracing the young mans movements and actions it turns out that he has deceived a Mexican smuggler who has a lot of influence and power. The Mexican smuggler is determined to find out where his contraband has been hidden and thus threatens not only Doug Sutherland but those he holds dear.
On the way to trying to find out what the Mexican wants and keeping himself alive, Doug is taken on a trip to his past and he finds some of the answers to his dreams. Why did his parents split up? Who is the 'burning man' who haunts his dreams? As he gets closer to his mam and the Mexican, all is revealed.
A really intriguing storyline, although I did have to read some parts a couple of times to grasp what was going on. Once established and I was back on track I thought the aspect of one greedy individual who wanted everything for himself and either destroyed or controlled everyone that got in his way was a very current topic for today. Wouldn't it also be nice if something happened to us all, so that we could also solve the answers to all our questions and our demons.
I found the book refreshing that the author was actually testing the reader, as a thriller I enjoyed the story and am now looking forward to reading the second in the series, Death's Crooked Shadow, as I know what to expect from the author I will be taking my time in order to fully enjoy the read.