4 out of 4 stars
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Au is the chemical symbol for gold which is what this book is principally about. Au (Files of the US Department of Military of Reclamation part 1) is an adventure and action book about a man, Josh Wagner, who worked in an investment bank. Josh had a gambling problem and he was in so much debt. Josh transferred some money from his client’s investment firm’s trust account to his account, with the intention of returning it. In his time of desperation, he turned to the only potential source of income available which was the mandate, Isaac Kepler. He realized from Mr. Kepler the deal fell through. They were scammed. Josh witnessed Mr. Kepler’s murder at the hands of unknown assassins and barely escaped with is life. Acting on the dying Mandate’s instructions he took the documents about another trade, which was going to be a huge deal. He made new friends, Isagani Delasin and Alex Randleman and they embark on an adventure of a lifetime.
Buried beneath the island of Manila in the Philippines, by Commander Hiyashi, a brutal Japanese soldier, are secrets. Mr. Delasin concealed these secrets for as long as he could. In the latter years of his life, with help from his son, Isagani, he decides to trade the precious metals contained in the cave. Mr. Delani is met with much opposition because many people want the earth’s precious metal for themselves. Who possesses the right to claim the gold? Is it Takawa, the son-in-law of the Japanese soldier, Hiyashi? Commander Hiyashi was working under General Yamashita’s command. General Yamashita ordered the slaughter of prisoners and soldiers to keep the location of the gold secret. Is it the property of the American Military since many American soldiers lost their lives in the massacre? Does it belong to the families of the prisoners who transported it and then killed? Is it for Barouche, a greedy Frenchman, desperate to be a leader at any cost?
The story is a narration told from the third-person point of view. It is a crime book, mixed with thriller, mystery, horror. It is loaded with adventures and has an intensely fascinating plot. The main protagonist, Josh is a man with an addiction, was at an extremely tight spot. He was willing to do anything to recover what he lost. He was resilient and very resourceful. He was unselfish and he a good heart. He was willing to improve his unpleasant habits. The author presents Isagani and Alex as strong, loyal characters that would fight for what they believe in. The book is realistically written, I found myself been emotional sometimes I’m very angry at the characters for their careless. I found myself holding my breath during the action and suspense part.
However, I had some issues with this book. Josh’s addiction was never dealt with, he only admitted he had a problem but no solution was proffered. There wasn’t enough back-story about Alex Randleman which made it difficult to trust her character. In my opinion, I felt the family of Jeffery Wolcott did not obtain enough justice, and their story was rushed. This book is the first of the series so hopefully, some of these problems would be solved in the later books.
I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. I found no grammatical or spelling error. This book seems to be edited professionally. The book is efficiently organized. The writing style is direct and easy to understand. I recommend this book to crime and action genre lovers. I do not recommend this book to young readers because it contains many violent and murder scenes.
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