Book of the Day
Waking Up in Medellin, by Kathryn Lane, is as hard to put down as an unscratched lottery ticket. With each chapter, the reader is more thoroughly invested than they were at the end of the previous chapter. Nikki Garcia is the accountant version of James, James Bond, and she is sent by her multinational company boss to discern whether reports of financial dirty dealings are true. The antagonist in her story, Señor Manuel, is a bad, bad man, made even worse because he’s filthy rich and blatantly self-important. Even as the story unfolds, the reader, knowing who the bad guy is, is still carried on a roller-coaster of emotional adventure.
Rarely have I read a book that made it hard to even take bathroom breaks. Each time I tell myself to stop at the end of the chapter being read…impossible, the next chapter (and the next, and the next) are a siren’s call. That this author pretty much tells us who the bad guy is from the very beginning seems to make the build-up and plethora of surprises that much more titillating trying to guess how something so obvious could insert such suspense. There is more suspense and romance in this story than a normal helping, in fact, even the romance in this story is filled with suspense.
Our heroine flies from her US corporate office to Medellin, Columbia to ascertain if the president of a major steel production company is guilty of embezzlement. Her financial forensic skills and tenacity are apparent as she bulldogs her way to finding the financial evidence she is after. Unfortunately, people begin to die as a result of these same skills, which gradually brings her closer to meeting the same fate. As much as there is a desire to see where her talents will take her, there is a growing desire to see her back away and leave before she becomes one more victim.
The story has many strong characters and the supporting cast is a necessary part of the story, however, through-out it really comes down to the two main characters, Nikki and her Doctor. There are so many good guys, bad guys, and many that can go either way that the story moves at lighten speed toward an explosive finish. Ironically, encapsulated within the story, are tidbits of fact and interest that are stories within the story and amazingly they add more spice than seems possible, almost as a breather from the ever-building suspense. Grisham comes to mind, a great story accompanied by teaching another culture, as a comparison to this tale.
I would invite every reader of this genre to read the first chapter, but only when there’s time to read the story in its entirety because there is no stopping once you start. It is guaranteed that in addition to a very provocative story, every reader will know more about our first president, and his brother Larry than they knew previously. That nugget alone is worth the price of admission.
This review is reprinted from July 2017
Robert Selby is a screenplay writer, book reviewer, and volunteer at Killer Nashville