by John F. Rooney
Stephie Ably-Ranier never expected her vacation—a week in Buenos Aires and a two-week luxury cruise around South America—to turn into such a life-threatening and life-altering experience. Was she a target because she was an analyst for the ultra-secret National Security Agency, or was it because her husband was up to something?
Readers will be drawn into this intriguing and amatory story which features a kidnapping, a philandering husband who engages in very risky behavior, threatening stalkers, a stranding on an isolated island, falling in love with the help of penguins, and the passionate and erotic world of the tango.
The story unfolds amid the rich background of life in Argentina, Uruguay, the Falklands, Chile, and aboard a cruise ship. A cast of fully-realized characters emerge—some eccentrically funny, some creepy and menacing, some with churning sexual desires, and some with secrets to hide. Closet doors fly open. Stephie finds her life turned upside down as she realizes her marriage is collapsing while a new love is blossoming.
This is a break-out book for the author. In other novels he has featured the New York detective Denny Delaney and the brutal terrorist Felix the Cat. One book presented the affirmative life of a British rice queen spy. In yet another effort, dipping into the world of the paranormal, he dealt with the murder of Stephie’s uncle after his return from an Indian trip, but this narrative is firmly grounded in reality, albeit an eerie reality that grips the reader.
A wife, a husband, the husband’s mistress, and a newfound love are on center stage while off-stage dangerous forces are scheming. Stephie learns that betrayals can take many forms, but does she learn in time for a new love to play a part in her future happiness?