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Sendero (Sendero Mysteries Book 1) by [Tomlinson, Max]
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Sendero (Sendero Mysteries Book 1) Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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Length: 371 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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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

Born in the wilds of San Francisco, with its rich literary history and public transport system teeming with potential characters suitable for crime novels, it was inevitable that Max Tomlinson would become a writer. He is kindred spirits with 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. Then again, maybe not. 
Max has published five novels to date: SENDERO (listed as one of the top 100 Indie novels of 2012 by Kirkus), WHO SINGS TO THE DEAD, LETHAL DISPATCH and LOOKING FOR THE DEAD BOYS. His latest - THE CAIN FILE - an international spy thriller set in the US and South America, was selected by Amazon's Kindle Scout program for publication in January 2016.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2574 KB
  • Print Length: 371 pages
  • Publisher: Sendero Press (August 26, 2014)
  • Publication Date: August 26, 2014
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006466CCE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #432,361 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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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