Miracle in a Dry Season    Dangerous Passage





Midnight in Madridby Noel Hynd

Reviewed by Dale Lewis

"The chilling secrets behind the theft and betrayal at every turn make this title a page burning read."

During a relaxing vacation in Barcelona, Spain, U.S. Treasury agent Alexandra LaDuca, (Conspiracy in Kiev), is called back to active duty in pursuit of an ancient relic stolen from a Madrid museum. Although fiercely independent, she strives to work with all the other agencies assigned to the task as well as a mysterious new partner. Who she trusts is key to her safety and the success of this mission. Being a woman in a male dominated world makes her vulnerable. The chilling secrets behind the theft and betrayal at every turn make this title a page burning read.

In the midst of looking for the highly valuable artifact, she learns authorities have become aware of a terroristic plot to detonate a dirty bomb. However, they don't know the needed details to thwart an explosion. This aspect of the story develops from a meeting Alex has with the French authorities about the art thefts. Alex also reluctantly encounters the Russian mob contact, Yuri Federov, (a character from the previous title), who welcomes the chance to reconnect with her.

She begins to experience doubts about God since Robert, her fiancée was killed in the last adventure (Conspiracy in Kiev). This soul-searching evaluation on her part makes her character believable in the midst of all the evil and violence.

The diverse cast of characters is full to overflowing in this suspense-filled storyline. At times, this forced me as the reader to go back and reread sections to help keep the characters straight with regard to how they fit into the plot.

Mr. Hynd’s thorough research into the history and underworld of international art thefts was fascinating to read and critical to the storyline. Be forewarned: Midnight in Madrid pushes the reader into the modern world of terrorists, art thieves, and cold-blooded killers. There is plenty of violence and darkness. Here’s the way the author describes it: “What a weird world it was. Violent, beautiful, and unpredictable, a world in which an ancient carving of a slain man of peace and charity could set off a bloody chain of events.”

The international intrigue is spell-binding. The transitions between the scenes are
as smooth as possible given the many settings--a credit to the skill of this author’s excellent word descriptions and storytelling.

As one of his many new fans, I look forward to the third book in the Russian Trilogy. With Alex LaDuca in the lead, I anticipate the author matching the intensity of his previous two stories.

Dale Lewis now mans the front desk at the EFCA (The Evangelical Free Church of America) National Office in Minneapolis, MN. He was the graphic designer/pre-press production artist for over twelve years before being asked to step into this new role. Prior to that, he was the publications manager at his alma mater, Northwestern College in St. Paul, MN in the public relations office as well as the adviser to the college’s yearbook. He's a director/actor/writer for the Hope Church (Oakdale, MN) adult drama worship team and was the senior editor of the church newsletter. He's also written two collections of poetry, “Whispers of Assurance” and “On Life: Constant Communion Without Ceasing” as well as a devotional entitled “Eternal Education.” He and his family live in Oakdale, Minnesota.