The Tempering Agent
Published by Prism Book Group
Publication Date February 18, 2014
Genres: Action/Adventure, Christian Fiction, Clean Romance
Setting: Egypt Contemporary
Main Character Ages: 25-34
Written for: Adults
Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself thrown back into the murderinvestigation of her fiance, Trey Whittington. While she was a suspect three years ago, she's now working with the police to find the murderer, Egyptian artifact trafficker, Zarka El-Din. During a sting operation in Siwa, she and Agent Donnie Barnes are drawn to each other but Priscilla, overcome by personal ghosts from her past, decides a relationship isn't possible. Priscilla realizes she's the bait in the ruse and uncovers others involved with El-Din. Will she and Donnie reconcile and unravel the reason behind Trey's death before El-Din kills her, too?
I received a complimentary copy of this book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.
The premise behind the book was interesting. A modern-day Indiana Jones type story. Sadly, it didn’t live up to my expectations.
I liked the overall storyline of the book. The idea of an adventure in Egypt while tracking down stolen artifacts is intriguing to me. There was a spiritual element to the book, while not overt, which was done well.
Each chapter started with a fact about a gemstone. That was a nice touch that I appreciated. I was sad to find out, however, that the white topaz earrings I purchased in South Africa are pretty much only valuable for the memories they give me of that trip. Alas! At least I’m not surprised by learning that.
The romance in the story just didn’t make sense to me. Donnie had just met Priscilla and was all of a sudden desperately in love with her. What? While I’ve read stories that have a similarly short time between the meeting and the infatuation where it works, it just didn’t in this book. Priscilla went from mourning her fiancé who was killed three years earlier to being so in love after two days. Again, what?
There were some other things that also bothered me. Priscilla was a Brit, and yet she spoke and acted like an American. There were elements of the mystery that didn’t make sense and there were parts of the story that seemed incomplete. While there was talk of action and adventure, it was more spoken of than experienced.
The language used was also distracting to me. Word choices were made that were wrong for the context and there were turns of phrases that were awkward. This wasn’t just a situation of typos that weren’t caught, it was more like the author was trying to use fancier sounding words and the ones she used didn’t mean what she thought they did. I do wish the editors had caught these things.
Despite my opinion, many others have liked this story as evidenced by the 56 reviewers on Amazon who gave the book an average of 4.3 stars.
Guest post from Vicki Caine
Since childhood, I have been interested in genealogy and ancient Egypt. Two of my prior novels, Alvarado Gold and Cairo, let me follow my fantasies into those two areas. Donnie the hero in The Tempering Agent is also in the other two books, and it was his turn to find his own romance. When archaeologist Dr. Priscilla Hackling finds herself drawn back into the murder investigation of her fiancé and the missing breastplate of the high priest, Agent Donnie Barnes, is just the man to help her out, even if she doesn’t think so.
Traveling along with Priscilla and Donnie, I discovered some interesting facts about ancient Egypt, from the ruins in the Siwa Desert to the mystery of the Valley of the Kings. The genealogy factor in my novels is Donnie is loosely based on my cousin. Alvarado Gold tells the story of my family while Cairo and The Tempering Agent fueled my inquisitiveness about Egypt.
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