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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Midnight in Madrid by Noel Hynd

Angry Alex LaDuca is back with another international adventure. You can tell by the cover that she gets easily riled.
This time she is on loan to the Spanish government to help them find the Pieta of Malta, a famous Christian sculpture that is said to have supernatural powers. It is missing from the museum it was in.
Truth be told, the book is hardly centered around the supernatural sculpture. The main point of the plot is really a French Muslim bomber wiring a bomb to blow up the Spanish Embassy.
The book is mostly Alex sitting in meetings with the Spanish government, researching about art theft, and running around with Peter Chang, her temporary bodyguard and latest love interest. She seems to ditch Ben at the end of the book.
The most "suspenseful" thing about the book is the scene where Alex gets trapped in a Metro tunnel near the Spanish Embassy right before the bomb explodes.
Whatever "righteous indignation" Alex LaDuca had in the first book of this series is gone. She is now a perfect character. None of the other characters are any good, save for Peter Chang. He's a mysterious character who is not fully explained in this book.
Yuri Fedorov is also back. Though he serves a small purpose in the plot, he remains to be one of my favorite "villain" characters.
I still fail to see how this series can be called the Russian Trilogy when the three books take place in Ukraine, Spain, and Venezuela. They get farther away with every book.
The upside to this book that keeps it on this side of one-stardom is Hynd's flair for extensive international research.
Otherwise, this book is just another one of those typical international thrillers sure to knock the socks off of those looking for mediocre suspense.
2 stars

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