Emerald promises to be the first in a series of books themed around precious stones. As an ex-ship’s chaplain, the author, Garner Scott Odell is well positioned for the globetrotting nature of this pacey thriller. Following the trail of a fabulous lost emerald, two Mossad agents discover more to the mystery than first appeared and it’s not long before they begin to realise that elements of a Fourth Reich are mobilising. With enough twists and turns to satisfy even the most jaded thriller reader, Emerald holds the knife edge tension until the very last page.

As a new author, Odell is already showing great mastery of his craft as he weaves the romantic subplot skilfully through the narrative with barely a pause in the action. His characters leap from the page and maintain a clear, defined identity, a skill unusual in such a new writer. Odell’s sense of location is superb and reflects well his painstaking research into each of the places his characters visit, to the extent that the locations themselves almost become ancillary characters to the plot.

Odell shows great skill as he weaves the myriad plot points through the action with never a missed step and manages to keep the reader’s attention focused even when the plot takes one of its many hairpin turns. For those readers looking for romantic adventure in the classic sense but with a theme that’s as up to date as tomorrow’s headlines, Emerald is the perfect choice.

Emerald is published by Mirador Publishing