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Land Sharks: A Swindle in Sumatra Paperback – December 22, 2015
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Pack your bags and don't forget a rain coat. The place is Sumatra. The season is soon to be Monsoon and the mystery is about to get a whole lot more sit on the edge of your chair exciting in Nancy Raven Smith's debut mystery/romance novel, Land Sharks - A Swindle in Sumatra! Alexis ('Lexi') Winslow isn't a cop anymore--at least not in the conventional sense of the definition. While she still has razor sharp skills when it comes to catching the bad guy, she does it on her terms. Her latest feat is to shut down a credit card scam in Beverly Hills, the town where everything glitters and Botox rules. As she surveils the shenanigans of the two-man operation in the swank restaurant, unbeknownst to two-bit Eddie, he is about to get nailed to the wall. After successfully shutting down the operation, little does she know her wealthy boss, Morgan Harrison is about to give her an assignment that will take her to the far reaches of Sumatra.
It seems Morgan's over privileged daughter, Karissa, is missing. What's worse is her roomie Denise won't be much help in finding her. She's dead. The only clue to Karissa's whereabouts, according to daddy, is she has left suddenly on holiday to Sumatra of all places with her charming and quite mysterious boyfriend, Javier. Much to Lexi's chagrin, her job title has suddenly shifted from investigating bank fraud to missing persons and she won't be traveling solo to Sumatra. 'Daddy' Harrison is grooming his handsome twenty-something son Steve for the business. Lexi learns she will be accompanied by Steve for this trip. Not only does she have to travel to the far reaches of the world to (hopefully) bring Harrison's daughter back safely, but babysitting his son while doing so has been added to her list of things to do.
Nancy Raven Smith has a strong handle on how to build the perfect balance between mystery and intrigue across the pages of Land Sharks - A Swindle in Sumatra. In this particular genre, it is vitally important to 'deliver the body' within the first handful of pages and ramp the story from there. Not only does Smith successfully accomplish the task, but whips the story into high gear immediately thereafter. Her voice is audible from the onset and main character, Lexi Winslow, is a believable and witty force to reckon with. The story isn't peppered with useless filler and silly banter. Rather, the characters are people the reader is able to connect with early on and the situations that unfold have a natural progression as the plot develops and the mystery unfolds. Ms. Smith is one to watch on the mystery front. She demonstrates tremendous comfort toward her art of writing a great mystery and I, for one, look forward to her next title. Well done Ms. Smith!
Reviewed by: Diane Lunsford - The Loudoun Times Mirror Book Reviewer
Suspense, intrigue, mystery, excitement and romance, Land Sharks: A Swindle in Sumatra has it all and more. Lexi is a fraud investigator for an exclusive Beverly Hills bank and the heroine of the story. She is sent on an assignment to Sumatra to bring back a client's rich daughter. Steve is the boss's son and is sent along on the journey to learn from Lexi. As Lexi and Steve arrive in Sumatra and find Karista, the rich daughter, they realize that the task of separating her from Javier, her new boyfriend, will not be easy. It quickly becomes apparent that Javier is a bad guy who has done many bad things and is simply interested in Krista's money and nothing more. Steve and Lexi find themselves in life threatening situations several times. Much to Lexi's surprise, she discovers that Andre, her old boyfriend, is also in Sumatra and may be there intentionally to keep her out of harm's way. There are several twists and turns before the case is concluded and everyone can go back home.
Land Shark is everything it claims to be and more. I read it very quickly because I just couldn't stand the suspense and was really anxious to find out what would happen next. Nancy Raven Smith is a master with words and made the story come alive and the characters very real. This is a must-read book for all mystery, suspense and detective lovers - men, women, young and old. Please do not pass up the chance to read a really well written, exciting story. Reviewed By Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite
From the Author
In Land Sharks, Lexi Winslow is a fraud investigator at a private Beverly Hills bank. As a favor to her boss, she's sent to fetch home the daughter of the bank's biggest client. So Lexi's off to Sumatra where the wayward daughter and her latest boyfriend were last seen. She has the added complication of having to take the boss' inexperienced son along for training.
Once Lexi arrives at an isolated resort carved out of the remote Sumatran jungle, Lexi discovers there are more deadly dangers inside the hotel than the crocodiles and head hunters outside. It is a hotel where women check in, but most don't check out.
And of all the places in the world, Lexi runs into her ex-lover, who not only conned his way into her heart, but is always conning someone somewhere. Lexi is determined to find out what is going on and to get everyone out alive.
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Top Customer Reviews
Lexi, Nancy Raven Smith’s heroine, is a feisty gal with a good left hook. Working as a fraud investigator in a small Los Angeles bank, she’s ordered by her boss to find the daughter of one of their major investors. Karista has run off to Indonesia with a man her father distrusts. So it’s off to Sumatra with Steve, one of the bank officer’s greenhorn son, as a backup to check out Karista’s situation at a resort carved out of the Sumatran jungle. They find Karista, but the case rapidly becomes much more complicated than just Karista’s welfare. An exciting up-and-down ride, including a thrilling escape through the jungle.
I enjoyed this light and adventurous piece of Kindle fare. I did not really identify with the main character but then the story in itself is an adventurous tour de force. Four Stars.