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Thirst (Alex Graham) Perfect Paperback – February 18, 2016
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THIRST leads the reader down a literary mineshaft where oxygen is running low and time short. Flavoured with insider expertise and a natural storyteller's flair, THIRST is a gripping and fun ride. --Daniel Kalla, bestselling author of NIGHTFALL OVER SHANGHAI
With compelling characters and an extraordinary setting, THIRST is a fast-paced thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last word. --R.J. Harlick, author of the popular Meg Harris mystery series
Geologist Alex Graham's primary job is to track down a silver mine; but her prospecting involves far more than minerals in THIRST, a saga of Canadian/US politics, a deadly pesticide spill, and a dangerous adversary who threatens numerous innocent lives.
It's unusual to pair a female investigator with a job typically associated with males (geologic field work is demanding and strenuous), but the marriage works and readers are instantly immersed in the protagonist of Alex and her already-difficult job even before a perp rears his ugly head: Eyes tightly shut, she clenched her sleeping bag tight beneath her chin. Massive boughs shook as the high-speed downdraft lashed at towering evergreens that lined the lower reaches of the steep rock face. The rattle of thousands of aspen leaves whipped into frenzied movement betrayed the wind s push across the valley floor.
Through this opener's example it's easy to see that THIRST promises to not just describe setting, action and adventure; but plunges readers into a 'you are here' experience that is profoundly captivating. THIRST not only goes where other detective/thrillers fall short; it provides a rivetingly absorbing story line that's hard to put down.
The life of a geologist involves many rules and Alex has not only cultivated this lifestyle, but built more rules for her own psyche which have served her well - but which are broken as she embarks on her incredible journey: Why am I doing this? she said aloud. Because you didn't follow your own rule. Don't get involved. Don't volunteer. How many times will I ignore my own good advice?
As she and sidekick Neil investigate further, all her training and skills leap to the forefront to track down not ores and mines, but a dangerous killer. And when she's forced to take the ultimate steps to protect herself and those around her, she may face the courtroom over a deadly scheme that threatens millions.
Lethal encounters. Dangerous defenses. Bombings and Homeland Security: all are out of range of the usual geologist's field work. But Alex is no usual geologist, and THIRST is no usual mystery. Detective readers will find it a compelling, involving read. --D. Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Katherine Prairie, a geologist and IT specialist, stepped away from a career in the international petroleum industry to write fiction. She now calls Vancouver, British Columbia home.
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It was going a little over the edge when she first faced danger. There had been several bombings of dams along the Columbia River and a combined military force from Canada and the U.S. had invaded the area...a perimeter along the river and dams had been established--Alex had chosen to camp within that perimeter. Her tent had been set on fire!
Alex was seriously burned on her arms but was able to get out of her tent, take what she could, and get to the hospital for treatment. She met Eric Keenan who was the ER doctor that night and had hedged about where she had been and that her tent had been set on fire as opposed to an accident. He didn't quite believe her, but allowed her to leave without reporting the incident.
There's a good reason for Alex's need for secrecy. She has been offered the first right of purchase of a series of mine rights from the widow of a friend who had just died. But she had a deadline. Given the routine prospector activities in the area, Alex could not afford to be followed, but she also felt she had to inspect the involved mines since the price was very high... Still, she really needed to know who and why she had been targeted, since it obviously was not the police who would have just arrested her for entering the perimeter...
It was Eric Keenan who pulled her further into what was happening there... Dr. Keenan had treated a woman in the ER and sent her home. She returned days later displaying unusual symptoms that he began to worry about. When he began to think it was poisoning, he had started working on another patient with the same symptoms. His first patient died, but he'd gone with his assumptions and given an antidote to the second. Should he report this potential community-wide danger? His boss decided for him, saying not until the diagnosis had been proven to be correct. He needed water samples and anything else that could be dangerous from the first victim's home. Thinking of Alex's skills, he contacted her. She found it alright...
Eric is called away case as another bomb exploded and destroyed a building right in town. While Alex, on calling into her home office was told that there would be more help sent out right away... She decided that was really a good idea, but when they arrived, she immediately felt personally responsible for their safety, given what was happening...
She had a right to be concerned because on a first trip out to work, they discovered a backpack, an earring, and blood on rocks in a nearby stream... Deciding they'd better check it out further (they'd heard a gunshot while still in camp earlier), they soon had found a body, obviously taken into a mine from the scene at the creek side... Only thing is that RCMP officer who arrived didn't really want to listen to their theories... But after they left, one of the men became very ill.....
The variety of the action found in this book is not easily followed for purposes of trying to determine who is at fault...why was one woman apparently murdered by poison? While another seemed to merely to have been some place at the wrong time, while our main character was simply camping in a spot where she admittedly shouldn't have been...but why was she almost killed by a fire for being there?
Then there is the bombings, which in a past one, was done by teenagers, but all of them? And where would they get the actual bombs being used? Why were they targeting dams?
Packed full of actions that keeps readers on their toes. This is not the traditional mystery, except confirming the answer of "why?" to each event. But that doesn't keep readers from being totally caught up when the multiple events keep happening...
Foolishly, somebody had made a big mistake in trying to set Alex Graham on fire. For once she was pulled in again and again, she became the pivotal person around each of the activities which began to merge into a viable conclusion. Whew! I was caught turning page after page into the late hours of the night to finish this quite satisfying novel by a new fiction writer...
The author has added a final note to provide the specifics of the historical reality regarding the Columbia River Treaty and all other facets included in the book. Small issues such as the desire to change the treaty to allow salmon their natural runs, as well as the concerns of Native Americans, were effectively slid into the story to make it a comprehensive, thoughtful look at this neighbor-to-neighbor relationship with Canada. For many of us, an important topic considered smack in the middle of a fantastic thriller... A unique experience that can be savored, while looking forward to the next alex graham novel... Highly recommended.
Paperback Received for Review
When a night on the mountain turns dangerous, Alex Graham must keep her mind focused and her wits sharp in order to survive. As a geologist, she is hired by clients to retrieve valuable gold or silver, outside or inside the restricted perimeter near the Columbia River dams. Providing hydroelectric power and certain natural resources to two countries, the river is of the utmost importance. When one of the dams was bombed, a joint security effort from the United States and Canadian forces was crucial. After Alex is asked for help regarding a potentially dangerous health scare, an unexpected connection to an old crime threatens both her safety and that of the whole town.
Thirst is a fictional story based in certain facts - namely, the Columbia River treaty between the United States and Canada is real and the problems outlined in this book could potentially happen. I liked Alex Graham as a main character, but I wished that the author had gone into more of her background. Her expertise as a geologist are very much in need in this book, but the author really just touches the surface of why Alex has chosen such a dangerous profession. The pacing was good and the premise was thought provoking. The ending of Thirst hinted at a sequel and I would be interested in seeing where author Katherine Prairie takes her characters into the future.
As she seeks help for the burns she sustained during the attack, she becomes involved in trying to solve an organophosphate poisoning case that may be a window into an impending bioterrorism attack. The suspense builds as murders occur and Alex and her team continue to avoid involving the police as they try to investigate on their own.
The Canadians are very unhappy about what they see as U.S. military interference, and acts of terrorism like blowing up buildings only serve to escalate the tension. There is an aspect of the book that makes one think of a dystopian novel with the almost robotic, tough American soldiers exerting control over the Canadian populace in the Slocan Valley. But other than those soldiers, the characters are well developed and their relationships make sense.
Katherine Prairie is at her best when writing the tense action scenes, and the book opens with one of these, quickly pulling the reader in. The location comes alive, and the sense of oppression and the affect it has on the residents of the area feel very real. Just a tad too much of the explication is passed along in dialog rather than being incorporated into the plot for my taste. There are multiple story lines running through the book, with some tied up well by the end and others left open. It appears that Prairie may be planning a series and is allowing some space to return to Alex Graham’s exploits.
Thank you to netgalley for making a review copy of this book available to me.
Most recent customer reviews
Alex graham is a geologist. She refuses to let anyone bully her into leaving a site she is working on.Read more
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