4 out of 4 stars
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Crude Currency by Gary Stull is an intriguing novel filled with action and adventure. The third book of the John Lock series, the story is written in the third person perspective and centers on John’s point of view.
John Lock is a cruise ship detective with an uncanny ability to spout off detailed facts of famous places around Europe. One of John’s friend, who also works on the cruise ship, asks him to find his missing brother, August Wolfe, an European Union (EU) negotiator. Vowing to do anything he can to find Wolfe, John is joined by Rachel, an EU investigator and his former lover. Together, they encounter many dangers and face off deadly criminals as they figure out how to save Wolfe. As he investigates further into the matter, he learns that Wolfe’s dealings with corrupt government officials are not what they seem to be. Is August Wolfe actually working with these corrupt officials, or is he a victim of fraud?
The author vividly described each of the characters, and the dialogue between the characters flowed easily. This made it easy to distinguish the personalities of each character. John has many faults, but he tries to do good and see justice served. However, John is willing to do anything to right wrongs which causes a few problems between him and Rachel. Rachel is the exact opposite of John. She is cautious and opposed to killing people. Throughout the book, they struggled to get over their differences and their past. This made their characters very realistic and relatable.
The plot was suspenseful, but easy to read. In the beginning of the book, John takes care of a problem that has been causing trouble for the cruise ship. I like how the author included this subplot in the story because it gives you a good idea of John’s character. Not only does John have to find Wolfe, but his older sister needs his help in dealing with a strange note that she received right before her husband was hit by a car. This made the plot more complex and made the novel even more intriguing to read. The descriptions of places that he visited were described very well. You can tell author knows a lot about these places.
I liked how the author included a lot of info of famous places like the Hagia Sophia. This, as well as mentioning well-known events and people, helped to add credibility to the story. I noticed a few grammatical errors, but they didn't detract from the book. Although this is the third book of the series, this book makes a great stand alone novel. It is not necessary to read the previous books of the series to understand what was going on in this book.
Overall, I would rate this book a 4 out of 4 stars. I throughly enjoyed reading this book. The detailed characterizations of each character as well as the complex plot made this book a great read. I recommend this book for those who like mysteries or thrillers.
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