Once again, Peter Riva deftly immerses his readers in another intelligent thriller starring the altruistic film-producer-turned-field agent Pero Baltazar.
Book Title: The Berlin Package by Peter Riva
Category: Adult fiction, 320 pages
Genre: Thriller / Crime
Publisher: Yucca Publishing / Skyhorse Publishing
Release date: April 26, 2016
-Content Rating: PG-13 (There is some violence, a stabbing for example and lots of profanity - a few f-words but mainly religious expletives)
Film producer Pero Baltazar thought he was taking a Berlin filming assignment. He needed the work, needed to get back in the saddle after fighting off a life-threatening experience in East Africa—alShabaab had attacked his crew, intent on a much larger terrorist attack. Suddenly he finds himself under orders from his part-time employers at the State Department and the CIA when he is handed a mysterious package. It’s an assignment he doesn't want. The problem is, it’s a job contracted by mysterious patrons who are prepared to kill him if he doesn't deliver.
Pero—now in far too deep—turns to friends, old and new, to help him unravel the mystery of the package, uncover connections to Nazi concentration camp gold recently sold by the US Treasury, and thwart the ex–Stasi chief, now head of a powerful banking group.
In this fast-paced sequel to Murder on Safari, Pero calls on Mbuno, his friend and East African safari guide, to anticipate the moves of his enemies as if they were animals—dangerous vermin—who have kidnapped both the film star and director. Mbuno’s tracking skills may keep them from getting killed—provided Pero can rope in more help and keep the CIA at bay.
Exhilarating and expertly crafted, The Berlin Package (Yucca Publishing; April 2016) is a gripping, page-turning thriller set in post–German reunification Europe.
Praise for Berlin Package
“An explosive radioactive thriller written with intelligence. . . . The reluctant spy motif works grandly. . . . An extremely thoughtful and terrifying exposure of the dangers inherent in a nuclear world.”
—Ron Lealos, author of Pashtun and Don’t Mean Nuthin’
Once again, Peter Riva deftly immerses his readers in another intelligent thriller starring the altruistic film-producer-turned-field agent Pero Baltazar. The Berlin Package is actually the sequel to Murder on Safari, which I loved, but it would do well as a stand-alone too.
There are several things that I liked about this novel. Let's start with the book cover. I love Europe, Rome in particular. The lit ruins in the background with a man on the run really appealed to my Italian heritage. Next, I liked that it was set in Europe--Germany and Switzerland to be exact. My sister lives in Switzerland and I have visited Zurich and driven south to the Lugano area. Breathtaking!
Now, for the characters. Riva has created memorable characters in Pero and Mbuno and this time taken their relationship up a notch. Not surprisingly, Pero is again caught up in a bad situation, this time between the US government and the sadistic work of an ex-Stasi chief, a ruthless and powerful man who will stop at nothing to get the mysterious package that has been entrusted to Pero without his consent.
It was fun revisiting some of the same characters, friends that Pero counts on. And we also meet new characters from Pero's past, his school days to be exact. The themes of friendship and teamwork resurface in this novel, making this thriller more than just an action adventure. A love interest is touched upon for Pero, our smart and perfectly flawed hero. As a woman I would have liked a kick-ass woman next to Pero as he lived his adventures. Oh, I liked his love interest all right. She was intelligent yet vulnerable, but she was mainly in the background.
The plot. There is a connection to the Nazi concentration camp gold. As a reader I was astounded by what is still happening in Germany and between powerful governments. Through the help of brilliant scientists and his African tracker, Pero gets in deep and sees it to the end, of course. Pero is on the run and we get to know him better. He risks his life, makes stupid mistakes but knows he's doing the right thing and keeps going. He is a very likable guy.
As is Riva's trademark, he shares his extensive knowledge of filming, politics, Europe and animal behaviour with his readers. Mostly from Pero's point of view. It's impossible not to learn interesting things through his books, which is one of the reasons I like them so much. That and his very human characters out to save the world!
Read my reviews of Peter Riva's other books:
The Path: Book 1 of the Tag series
Reaching Angelica: Book 2 of the Tag series
Murder on Safari
To read more reviews, please visit Peter Riva's page on iRead Book Tours.
Disclosure: Thanks to the publisher for sending me this book for review. I was not compensated in any other way, nor told how to rate or review this product.
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