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Sendero (Sendero Mysteries Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Max Tomlinson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Named one of the top 100 Indie novels of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews

"A vividly described journey through Peru’s underbelly as the narrative gains momentum, hurtling toward a dramatic climax."...Kirkus Reviews

The Truth Doesn't Always Set You Free

In 1987, the dirty war that will last twelve years and kill thirty thousand Peruvians finally reaches up through the Andean cloud forest for Nina and her family. Nina’s father is shot by soldiers, her mother raped, and her brother lost to the shadowy ranks of Shining Path guerrillas. And when Agustín Malqui, the village pastor, files a legal complaint against the military, it’s no surprise when he disappears in the middle of the night—just another casualty of the military regime.

Twenty-odd years later, Nina, now an officer in Cuzco’s tourist police, comes across a familiar name on the police printer that she scans daily for any trace of her long-lost brother. Agustín Malqui is alive. After spending years in a political prison, the broken pastor has been wandering the country, saving souls and drowning his demons in pisco. Nina tracks him down, only to lose him yet again in a police sweep of political malcontents. But before Malqui disappears, he tells her a drunken tale she can scarcely believe: that her brother Miguel is still alive.

Despite warnings and threats from her chief and the pleadings of her lover, an officer in Peru’s anti-terrorist branch, Nina presses on to find Malqui. Her search takes her through Peru’s underworld, from remote villages high in the Andes to the steaming jungle haunts of the narcotraficantes, and ultimately to a secret political prison in the altiplano, where she learns the truth about Malqui and her own vanished brother.

watch the book trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIegQJZ6Jy4


Editorial Reviews

Review

Listed as one of the top 100 Indie novels of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews. 

"Tomlinson's debut is golden...churning with suspense...a vividly described journey throughout Peru's underbelly...the narrative gains momentum, hurtling toward a dramatic climax."                               

...from the Kirkus Review for SENDERO

About the Author

When Max Tomlinson isn't writing he works as a software architect, which is a nice way of saying he hacks around on computers and actually gets paid for it. He lives in San Francisco with his wife and a dog named Floyd, a shelter-mix who stops and stares at headlights as they pass by at night. There's a story there, too. If only Floyd could talk. Max's debut novel SENDERO, a literary thriller set in modern-day Peru, is listed as one of the top 100 Indie novels of 2012 by Kirkus. WHO SINGS TO THE DEAD is the second* in the SENDERO series. LETHAL DISPATCH, an edgy thriller suited for readers 16 and up, was released early 2014. Mr. Tomlinson is currently hard at work on a 'Meth Noir' crime novel set in 70s California titled KILL CITY, due out early 2015.

*The SENDERO mysteries read as standalone novels.

Product Details

  • File Size: 608 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Sendero Press (August 26, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006466CCE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,613 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful writing and fascinating characters January 13, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The people of our childhood are often more important to us than the ones we know as adults. The nostalgia holds us like glue to what is important. After Nina's father is killed by government troops, she grows into a woman who lives in two different worlds, the one of the government who talks a good game of reform and the real world of poverty, drug dealing and shining path revolutionaries who still believe in a new Peru. It is an old priest who defended her father that wakes up Nina's compassion and loyalty toward the world of her childhood. Her journey to rescue him from a political prison takes her back to a past of pain and a secret that defined her life. Max Tomlinson writes a compelling and realistic tale of people who have no good choices. His adept prose and multi-layered characters render a story that holds the reader's focus until the very last line.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing, enlightening, and deeply moving... January 24, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Besides being an utterly gripping thriller, Sendero is a powerful portrait of contemporary Peru that is both sweeping and intimate. The main part of the story takes place in the aftermath of Peru's "dirty war," where rebels and government forces used each other's excessive force to justify their own. The novel portrays how this dirty war lives on in the hearts of Peruvians, whether native Indians or descendants of the Spaniards, as they struggle to make moral choices in the face of ongoing poverty, discrimination, and government corruption. Many fail in their choices, with often tragic results, as the author convincingly portrays. With his cast of complex and engaging characters, he tells the story of Nina, a full-blooded Indian, who at age twelve endured her father's murder by government soldiers, followed by the loss of her mother to insanity and her brother to the Shining Path -- the Sendero of the title -- when he joins the rebel movement to avenge his father's death. More than twenty years later, Nina, working for the Cuzco tourist police even while dismayed by the hypocrisy of the "new Peru," encounters evidence that her beloved brother, long assumed dead, is still alive. Her subsequent search leads to shocking revelations, about not only the government but her own heart. Hers is not the only heart that this story reveals: we also see first hand into the struggles of characters on all sides of the conflict, including those of the rebels, funded by drug money and still hiding out in the mountains, defeated but not destroyed. Fianlly, no praise of this novel would be complete without a mention of the setting, so authentically rendered, whether we're in fancy hotels, the Cuzco slums, or the remotest jungle or mountain villages. Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unfolding Mystery to fast-paced Suspense Novel November 23, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As I began reading Sendero, it had the feel and pace of a police procedural with an unfolding mystery. Nina, an officer of the tourist police in Peru, investigates the disappearance of her former pastor Malqui. 20 years earlier, after witnessing the murder of Nina's father by police, Malqui had requested an official investigation. That request led to his imprisonment as a political instigator. The mystery of Malqui's appearance and disappearance brings Nina news of her brother Miguel who has not been seen since their father's murder.

As the mystery unfolds, the world of Peru's secret prisons, politically driven police departments, narcoterrorists and "the shining path" movement drive the story. We move from an unfolding police procedural to an explosive suspense novel.

The characters have complex relationships with each other and with Peru. That depth keeps things interesting and make this more than a typical thriller.

I tend to read books set in the United States with a dabbling of police or mysteries set in England or Ireland. I don't want an exotic setting to get in the way of the story. That was not a problem in Sendero. Peru is like a character that has shaped Nina and her family, but it doesn't get in the way of making this a great read.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Politics and Love in Peru April 25, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book kept my turning the pages and the description and drama were pretty good, though more could have been done with it.

The story, that of a brother and sister who saw their father killed by soldiers who were fighting the Shining Path, and then grew up following vastly different paths -- one as a Shining Path member, the other as a member of the Cuzco tourist polices (and an amateur detective) has a great deal of promise, and the setting is very ecocative. (I've been to Cuzco, so that was part of the pleasure.

But there were times when the realism and depth of the characters were sacrificed for the plot. In one instance -- spoiiler alert -- Nina falls in love with a young man who becomes her ally and when he is killed, she doesn't even seem to stop to grieve.

The politics were handled relatively well. The Shining Path were portrayed with some level of sympathy, but they certainly weren't romanticized. There was more nuance with the politics in some respects than with the characters.

It was an enjoyable read, however, and it was well-written, but it suffered from the same flatness of character that I see in many thrillers.

-- John Byrne Barry, author of Bones in the Wash: Politics is Tough. Family is Tougher.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Torments and inhumanity in full color
This book gives an inside look at the Shining Path years and the inhumane treatment of the people of Peru.
Well done. Read more
Published 26 days ago by Rebecca Mankel
4.0 out of 5 stars breath of fresh air
It was quite a ride following Nina Flores through her adventures. Seeing a book set in Peru was quite a change of pace. Fans of thrillers will really like this one.
Published 1 month ago by Alledria
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed it very much
Enjoyed it very much. Initially wondered where it was going to end but it didn't disappoint, it was quite gripping in places. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Kurrawong
5.0 out of 5 stars This was such an amazing book. It was well written
This was such an amazing book. It was well written, entertaining, and I read well into the night to finish a very intriguing story. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Carolyn
4.0 out of 5 stars Plot Hooks
I rarely read book reviews and almost never write them. But I do want to share my experience reading Sendero. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John C. Philipp
5.0 out of 5 stars Gut wrenching, cultural thriller
This was a gritty, provocative read. Some of the passages tore my heart out. The author's writing captivated me, dragged me into the story as if I were there. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I liked this series. I can't remember which book was first, but I liked them enough to continue reading them. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Joann R. Greene
4.0 out of 5 stars Character driven
It's a fast-paced, page-turner, true to the genre, with an interesting political backdrop and characters which drew me along on the adventure.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting, political thriller
Loyalty, betrayal, family devotion all rolled into one fast paced novel. The characters were well developed. It was a good read.
Published 7 months ago by Larry
4.0 out of 5 stars First in series but not my last!
Revolution and mystery in Peru?  I couldn't resist that.  I know nothing at all about Peruvian politics and government and this was a great way to start getting a little info. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Buddha Baby
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More About the Author

Max Tomlinson is a Bay Area writer who has traveled extensively throughout South America. Sendero, a novel of suspense set in Peru, is listed as one of the top 100 Indie novels of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews.

The Kirkus *star* Review for Sendero:

"Tomlinson's princely, epic debut spans decades in a Peruvian family's separation and reunion amid political unrest and terrorist atrocities.

In 1987, Peruvian peasant siblings Nina, 12, and Miguel Flores, 16, live on a potato farm raised by proud, hardworking parents. Their homeland is being terrorized by the "Sendero Luminoso" (Shining Path), a Maoist insurgent militia, as locally armed soldiers become outnumbered and more and more of the land is dominated by the violent faction. When their father, Adan, is shot by soldiers and Agustín Malqui, the village pastor, is abducted, Miguel, ever the picture of restless youth, sacrifices himself by joining the Shining Path guerrillas to spare the rest of his family from certain death. Tomlinson masterfully propels his ambitious narrative two decades forward to find Nina, a Cuzco tourism police official in southeastern Peru, miraculously reuniting with a downtrodden, alcoholic Pastor Malqui who'd been isolated for almost a decade in a political prison. Before he disappears again, however, Malqui tells her that Miguel is still alive but ensconced in drug trade narcoterrorism. Nina ignores stern warnings from her lover, Francisco Guislán, a high-ranking anti-terrorist official, and risks her life to first find Malqui again, and then her long-lost brother. These powerful events enable Tomlinson to unfurl a vividly described journey throughout Peru's underbelly as the narrative gains momentum, hurtling toward a dramatic climax and a surprisingly unconventional conclusion. A lushly atmospheric novel consistently churning with intrinsic familial yearnings and authentic suspense, the author's story works on a variety of levels. Incorporating Peru's rich yet turbulent history, high drama amid the villages perched in the expansive Andes mountains, a cast of impressively crafted characters and a cinematic plot that would translate wonderfully to the big screen, Tomlinson's debut is golden.

Elaborate and robust; a prime example of history and histrionics juggled with equal precision."


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