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Thursday, 9 February 2012

Review: Temple Of The Gods by Andy McDermott (Nina Wilde/Eddie Chase Book 8)


Archaeologist Nina Wilde's life has fallen apart. Her husband, ex-SAS soldier Eddie Chase is on the run, falsely accused of murder, and her only distraction has been investigating the origin of three strange statues stolen from her just before Eddie's disappearance. When Nina discovers they may be relics from the lost civilisation of Atlantis, it's clear that she has to get her head back in the game, and fast.

Eddie, meanwhile, tries to stay ahead of the authorities as he hunts the man responsible for his fugitive status across the globe. A mysterious benefactor offers the information he needs - but the price will put him in direct conflict with his wife.

When Nina learns that a Japanese industrialist has obtained the statues on the black market she immediately heads to Tokyo meet him, unaware that Eddie is already on his way. Their arrival unleashes a chain of events that could have devastating consequences for the world, setting Nina and Eddie on their most dangerous quest ever - with the future of humanity itself at stake...

Back in June 2011 I reviewed Andy McDermott's Empire of Gold, the seventh book in his explosive series featuring main characters Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase. I am a huge fan of what a friend and I have christened 'quest books', and this is one of my favourite series from this genre. Incredibly, the first book in this series, The Hunt for Atlantis, was only released back in 2008, so by my reckoning that is averaging at two books a year. From a lesser author, we might expect inconsistent quality, repetitive plots, characters that become boring over time. However, Andy's books suffer from none of these issues. In my opinion, every one of his books is an excellent, thrilling read, and now with the publication of book eight I can only hope there there is still more to come.

In my review of Empire of Gold I recommended that the books be read in order. This is not essential for most of the books, although for maximum reading enjoyment I still stand by that statement. However, Temple of the Gods really should not be read as a standalone, as it is a direct continuation of Empire of Gold. I remember well the frustration I felt on finishing that book and being left with a massive cliffhanger, something that the author had not done in his previous books. I have therefore been waiting impatiently since June to find out what happened next, with Eddie on the run accused of murder, Nina pretty much believing that he was guilty, and enemies closing on from all directions. I am happy to report that it was well worth waiting for.

Temple of Gods is Andy McDermott at his very best, and if like me you are a fan of the series, but are yet to read this book, then I fully expect you to be now salivating at the prospect of diving into the story. It has everything that we have come to love in Widle/Chase story: exotic locations; ancient history; epic, OTT action scenes; crosses, double crosses and triple crosses; and more twists and turns than an Alpine road. It is the culmination of a story that started way back when Nina Wilde discovered Atlantic in the first book, each book that followed adding another few morsels of detail regarding Nina's link to the ancient Atlanteans, and the mysterious purple stone statues that the pair have come across in their various archaeological adventures.

One criticism my 'quest book' loving friend has about this series is that she gets a little fed up with all the bickering that goes on between Nina and Eddie. I too occasionally found myself in previous instalments wanting to shout at them to stop arguing and just get on with things. If you share this view then you may be glad to hear that the shocking events at the end of the last book, and Eddie's subsequent flight from the authorities, seems to have brought the pair together in a way that none of their previous escapades managed. So much so that the pair have very few arguments this time round. Happy days! (well they would be, if it weren't for the fact that just about everyone they come across is trying to kill them).

With all the loose plot threads from the previous books now all neatly tied off I am left with a worrying feeling that this might be the final Nina Wilde and Eddie Chase. I'm hoping that there is a loose end that I have forgotten about, giving Andy McDermott a reason to write at least one more book (and hopefully many more) featuring his endearing pair of characters. If anybody knows that answer to this and can put me out of my misery please get in touch.

My thanks go to the ever lovely Sam at Headline for sending me a copy of Temple of the Gods to review.

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