Reviewed by Christina M. Hinke
"Destiny." By Alex Archer. Gold Eagle, $6.50 (352p) ISBN
May 1, 2006
History, mystery and metaphysics are at the center of an inspired adventure novel, the first in a series by debut author Archer. This present-day tale brings Annja Creed, archeologist and field reporter for cable TV'sChasing History's Monsters , from Brooklyn to the small town of Lozere, France, to hunt down evidence of La Bete, the Beast of Gevaudan, rumored to have killed close to 100 people between 1764 and 1767. Instead of investigating dusty bookshops and hiking in the Cevennes Mountains, however, Annja finds herself fighting to protect an ancient charm she's uncovered from 500-year-old men, a dangerous occultist anxious for profit and a brotherhood of monks desperate to keep safe the charm's secret. Annja is a deft, well-drawn character, a woman in her mid-20s who is intelligent, alluring and able to fend off multiple attackers twice her size while keeping her cool. Archer keeps pace by building up a cohesive, multilayered plot with attention-grabbing action sequences. Though Archer wraps up Annja's hunt for the truth behind La Bete in this volume, readers should be eager for her next adventure-and fortunately for them, it's scheduled for release this September. (July)
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