by M. Kelly

Reviewed by Joe Kilgore

“I have to accept that she was a part of my life that was and is now gone forever before I can get on with a new part of it.”

Riccardo is a wealthy Greek industrialist chafing under the thumb of his father’s autocratic rule. To prove his prowess and increase his independence, he becomes involved in shady dealings with international businessmen who are both unethical and illegal. Aiding him in his machinations—and at the same time spying on him for a clandestine government organisation—are his security heads, Flynn and George. All three men are trying, to move their lives forward after the death of Riccardo’s wife, Marion, who was also Flynn’s lover. In fact, it is the recurring emergence of Marion, either in their minds as an illusion or in their eyes in spirit form that makes it difficult for them to concentrate on the future rather than their collective past. It becomes particularly vexing when Riccardo is juggling potential remarriage, and in different ways, all three men deal with intrigue involving gun running, terrorism, and some blackmail by the CIA.

This novel feels a bit like a patchwork quilt. In its entirety, it is all one piece, but it seems constructed of multiple parts. As the plot ricochets from one situation to the next,  to lay out this character study, and adventure yarn.  It occasionally proves a jolt to concentration and a speed bump to pace. The novel is, however, filled with exotic locales, conflicting emotions, mayhem, romance, and tragedy—just the things that some readers may well find intoxicating.