Rosie’s #Bookreview of #MurderMystery THE GOLD OF ST. CROIX by Tom Sedar

The Gold of St. CroixThe Gold of St. Croix by Tom Sedar

3.5 stars

The Gold Of St. Croix is a murder mystery set on a Caribbean Island and features a sunken 17th century Spanish treasure ship.

The story opens with a meeting between retired policeman Mad Dog Cotton and the wife of a missing diver. Betsy Rourk’s husband Bob has recently found a rare gold coin and now Bob and his partner Tony are missing, and Betsy fears the worst. Mad Dog and a group of his friends soon become entangled in a mystery which takes them all over St. Croix as events quickly turn sinister.

The author’s love for St. Croix shines through in this story, and island life is portrayed with the understanding of one who has lived there for several years. However, I was less convinced about how a retired policeman would undertake this mystery so quickly and then involve so many of his
friends. There are a lot of characters in this story from diverse backgrounds and at times it was hard to keep them all in my head and to know who I should be focusing my attention on.

For me there were a few places where the dialogue would have benefitted with more tightening; too often characters all sounded the same and the author’s fondness for the use of ‘yeah’ within the speech became repetitive. However, these are only minor weaker points and many readers won’t
mind them.

So overall, some of my favourite parts of this were the setting and I appreciated the grand tour of the island.

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Book description

One tranquil Caribbean day, unremarkable like the next, all hell breaks loose after an ancient gold coin surfaces. Betsy needs to find her husband and the coin is her currency; Sam wants to buy the the piece-of-eight but a 384-year old mystery puts the kibosh on everyone’s plans. Sam and his wife suddenly end up dead, Betsy disappears, and it falls to Mad Dog Cotton to sort it all out. In what looks to be the toughest case of his career the mix of sun, pirate treasure, murder and Mad Dog himself spin a riveting tale of the Gold of St. Croix.


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Rosie’s #Bookreview of Action Adventure Set In the Caribbean PRIVATEERS by Charlie Newton

PrivateersPrivateers by Charlie Newton

3 stars

Privateers is a fast-paced action thriller. The main story is set in the Caribbean and revolves around the search for a hoard of lost gold which was stolen during World War One.

Bill Owens owns a racehorse, an ice hockey team―and a lot of money to a Chicago thug. He becomes entangled in a treasure hunt which might solve his financial problems but at what cost? For he is forced to return to Haiti, a country that holds dark memories for him.

I was looking forward to this story; a daring high risk modern day pirate-style adventure, with three main time settings: 1986, 2006 and 2009, while the Haiti setting and the hints of Voodoo intrigued me.  I liked the inclusion of the hurricane as it provided an exciting background for much of the high-speed action, adding another layer of fear and danger for the characters during the hunt.

The author chose to use present tense throughout, including when switching to an alternative character’s point of view and returning to past events. The story would have worked better for me if different tenses had been used at these times; the writing would have been more interesting and the story easier to follow with a defined change.

Bill was quite a charmer, even when a few scenes and situations required me to suspend my disbelief for the sake of the story. The main female characters were less promising as they were portrayed as Amazonian type pin-ups and rather stereotyped with ‘Bond Girl’ references, which was a shame because it dated the writing and might close it off to a wider audience.

While the action was fun, I became irritated by the constant mentioning of famous people, films and brands as they became tedious and felt contrived. The treasure hunt for the gold was good but lengthy and although I enjoyed the chase, I was never convinced about the quantity of clues; however, that’s just my personal take. As a side note, the author includes lots of hand-written style images of the clues, which I’m sure work well in the paperback form of this book, but I found them very hard to read on my kindle.

Overall, I liked the idea of this book, but I thought that it needed more work, particularly in the areas mentioned above for today’s reader.

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Book description

Three fierce women. A ghost ship’s treasure. And a bone-chilling Caribbean warlord.

WWI rages. U.S. Marines storm Haiti’s Banque Nationale, loot $26 million in gold, then vanish . A century later, clues surface during the demolition of a Chicago racetrack, pointing to the Corazón Santo—the malevolent triangle of Havana, Kingston, and Port-au-Prince. Three fierce, vibrant women reunite to hunt the treasure, hoping it will buy their survival from past entanglements. They conscript a streetwise Chicago horseplayer’s help, then risk a return into the blood-drenched Caribbean jungle that has tried to kill them before. The uneasy partners are quickly swallowed in a terrifying labyrinth of shadow government and modern-day piracy where a final choice will be forced upon them: gold, survival, or redemption?

AmazonUK | AmazonUS

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