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9.16.2010

Need a New Action Thriller to Read?

Davis Bunn has just released a new book and I had the opportunity to review it this week. 


About the Book - the Black Madonna
"Gentleman Adventurer" Davis Bunn delivers an international thriller of elusive treasure, desperate measures, and a race against death's clock with The Black Madonna. Capitalizing on the successful introduction of Storm Syrrell in Gold of Kings, Bunn brings Syrrell back for this epic tale.

Antiquarian Storm Syrrell is in desperate need of cash. When a nameless, faceless client calls her with a request to track down a non-existent antique rumored to bear miraculous healing in its being, Storm should say no. But the man's pockets are deep.

What desperation leads a man to pay millions for a glimpse of hope?

Storm hopes the answer won't be the death of her business...or her.
Michelle's Book Review of The Black Madonna

From the first chapter, this plot gripped me and never let go until the last page. In fact, I’m not sure I have quit looking over my shoulder yet. Just when the reader is sure a character is safe and the worst is over, there’s more. Long gone is the T. Davis Bunn, now just Davis Bunn, of the Jeanette Oake days. There is nothing clich√© or fluffy here.

In The Black Madonna, antiques ex
pert Storm Syrrell and Homeland Security agent Emma Webb get caught in the middle of a scheme where a mystery bidder wants to purchase artifacts through Storm at exorbitant prices. At the same time, friend harry Bennett vanishes and is assumed dead after an explosion in the middle east.

The story takes Syrrell and several other main characters on a chase through dangerous trek around the world, through the mountains in Switzerland, the desert in Pakistan and much more. I know nothing about antiques auctions, bidding, or security agents, yet I found myself in the world of these people as though I lived it. The glamour of jetting off to this country and that will tickle the adventure bug and thrill the imagination of the reader. And the fast action of this thriller will keep the reader enthralled right to the end. With murderers on the tail of every lead character, no place is safe. Female readers will likely enjoy the thread of romance in the book as well.

I enjoyed this book very much. If there is a drawback it’s that the plot is complicated enough that I’m not sure I truly understood how it all ended. I got a little lost in my understanding of the motive of the mystery bidder. However, that was likely because I was rushing to get to the end to see how everything resolved. Perhaps I missed something.

One other drawback is that it seems the editors overlooked passive voice (use of “be” verbs) all over this book. I’m assuming it’s because of the extensive publishing record of this author that he can get away with it. What’s the big deal? Well, it made some of the description kind of flat. As if he were listing off facts rather than weaving a story. Here’s an example from page 42. “The ancient stone breakwater was rimmed by a road…The seafront promenade was as packed…Old women dressed in black were accompanied by…Their speech and soft footfalls were..” And here’s another from page 92. “The ceiling above Harry’s canvas bunk was rusted through…His side window was cracked…Harry was dressed in…The bandages were wound…A wheelchair was jammed into the space…” Thankfully, the dialogue and action made up for the passive description.

I give the book 4 stars and highly recommend it. I was given a complimentary copy of the book from Glass Road PR in exchange for my fair and honest review.

About the Author
Davis Bunn Oxford smaller
Known by his fans as the, "Gentleman Adventurer" Davis Bunn is a multi-award winning best-selling author who consistently delivers engaging stories and thrilling adventures. He has served as the Novelist in Residence at Oxford University for the past ten years and was recently invited into BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television Arts).

Davis Bunn is a lover of adventure in many forms, including his decades-long involvement in surfing (yes, he's been bitten by a shark). Fluent in three languages, Bunn's travels include Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. He and his wife, Isabella, divide their time between homes in England and Florida's West Coast.

Learn more about the unique life and mind of Davis Bunn at www.DavisBunn.com.

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