Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Book Review: Death in the Empty Quarter - George L Potter

Synopsis - The oil industry can be a cut-throat business, and no one knows that better than troubleshooter Bert Franks.  As a consultant and plenipotentiary for Vermilion Oil Company (the Houston based firm owned by his adoptive sister and brother-in-law), he specialises in navigating the political minefields of the Middle Eastern nation of Yemen, where Vermilion operates a profitable oilfield concession.  Bert spends his days dealing with the needs of the oilfield employees, maintaining contacts in the local expatriate community, meeting and socialising with government officials, even handling major negotiations - anything necessary to smooth the way for Vermilion's interests.  When a minor contractual dispute spirals out of control, Bert finds himself at the centre of a storm of corporate cupidity, government corruption, a muckraking reporter, political controversy... and murder.  His brother-in-law is dead, his girlfriend has vanished, Vermilion is on the brink of bankruptcy - and suddenly he's persona non grata in a country he's adopted as his own.  And the whole time, he never suspects that the real danger to all he cares for lies not in the Yemen desert, but much, much closer to home... (Taken from Goodreads)

Review - I won this e-book from LibraryThing members give-away in return for a review.  The book stated this was a Bert Franks adventure, in fact this is the second "Bert Franks" story published September 2011.  Just months after the first, Lost In The Land of Sheba published in March 2011.

It took me a chapter or two to get into the story, to get an understanding of who's who and how the characters fitted into the plot.  Once I was au fait with the characters and plot the story really took off.  Lots going on, much intrigue and a fast pace to keep the reader turning the pages.  Great characterisations, some quite complex, particularly Julie Billeaud.  The author shows a good knowledge of his setting in both geographical and political aspects which make the plot so real.  As I read the story I could visualise the territory and imagine the situation.  I would like to read the first book and will await for more Bert Franks adventures. 3*

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