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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Blood Diamond by Riley Quinn

Blood Diamond by Riley Quinn
A Jewel of the Night Book
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Short Story (94 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rated: 4 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

Dodging an angry warlord and running through the rain forest in Congo Brazzaville was not what Jillian St. James expected when she signed up with Doctors Without Borders. Yet that’s exactly what she gets after a mysterious visit from her brother.

Mercenary Mack Nichols doesn’t have much faith in humanity these days. When the beautiful young doctor denies being part of the theft of a blue diamond from his client, he doesn’t put much stock in her story.

Neither have reason to trust the other and their mutual attraction is an inconvenience to both. A betrayal and the reveal of an evil plan pit these two against an army. Can they put aside their doubts and work together to bring down a corrupt, power-hungry overlord or will their chance at love be over before it ever starts?

Absolutely chilling thrills grace the pages of the romantic-mystery, Blood Diamond, by Riley Quinn.

Humanitarian aid worker in Africa’s Congo, Jillian St. James goes from ordinary to desperate at remarkable speed. Her brother’s unexpected visit, not to mention abrupt departure, set Jillian to figuring out a twisty mystery; one in which she too, will be implicated.

The mystery may sound straightforward, but it is the depth, range, and caring of the characters that moves this plot along.

Jillian is so cheered by her brother Cody’s return that we readers immediately gain a sense of – perhaps isolation is not the word, but we see her as a doctor that works somewhat alone and though she may be welcome to interact with villagers, she is separate. She is valued though, and those she has struggled to aid definitely support and help her. The villagers as a group, and a few important individuals among them, are therefor immediately identifiable as the ‘good guys’ in this tale.

Conversely, Mack Nichols is a tough-minded mercenary in pursuit of stolen diamonds…and sorting out the who and why there is our chief mystery. His association with a war-lord should land him in with the bad guys; yet we see from Mack’s point of view at times, and come to understand him as somewhat more complex than he might have appeared otherwise.

The plot drives this story, as we so want to understand what really happened and see how Jillian figures it out; but even better, the characters give wonderful depth, throughout. Character interaction is always valuable and revealing. Many conversations are moving, and with few words we get a sense of love and concern or regard, that Ms. Quinn’s characters truly come to life in these pages.

Occasionally phrases are unnecessarily overused, (the ‘small hut’ phrase surely could have been varied with something more descriptive, and overall, I did wish for a better sense of place), however, readers find the action easy to follow even through the fastest-paced parts of the story.

The setting, characters, and plot twists are all nicely unpredictable and Blood Diamond will definitely keep your interest. Give it a read.