While the romantic in me loves stories with passionate lovers overcoming the odds to be together, the action fan in me loves reading about the hero or heroine coming in, guns blazing, ready to kick the bad guy’s ass. Sometimes in a novel, you’re lucky enough to get both. I wasn’t actually aware when this novel was sent to me that it was part of a series of novels (number 11, to be precise) aptly named the Wilde/Chase series after the last names of the two main characters, a husband and wife team. Don’t let that prohibit you from picking up this book as your first taste of McDermott; enough of their back history is explained without it becoming tedious. Nina Wilde is an archeologist, specialising in the location and protection of sites of historical and religious importance. There is more danger in these situations than one might expect and that is where husband Eddie Chase comes in, using his former SAS and mercenary training when necessary.
In this particular adventure, a pregnant Nina is kidnapped by a radicalised Christian cult who believes that she will be able to locate certain objects – “angels” – that they can use to bring about the prophecies listed in the Book of Revelations. With Nina held captive on a Caribbean island, Eddie has to turn to her nemesis, Professor Maureen Rothschild, to help him find the clues, save his wife and the world.
What I loved about this novel was the relationship between the two main characters. They are obviously deeply in love but not afraid to mock and tease each other silly – there’s a running joke within the book that Eddie wants to call their child Arbuthnot. They’re the kind of couple that, when they’re not busy saving the world or discovering Atlantis, you’d enjoy having round for dinner. I also liked that despite the character archetype of the man being the “muscle”, Nina is insistent on her share of action despite being a pregnant woman. She’s not relegated to the background damsel in distress so often seen in action novels and films.
With a similar blend of history to action as books like The Da Vinci Code and The Rule of Four, McDermott manages to write an action book that leaves you feeling a little bit smarter than when you started, without your brain feeling overly taxed. I’d definitely recommend this as a great summer beach/bach read for anyone who is an action fan.