|"Still gazing out the window of his plane, Armstrong could see the|
island now, or rather he could sense it. Though lit by brilliant
moonlight, only lights twinkling down the mountains to the harbor
were visible from the air. It always amazed him how much
subliminal energy this island had. He could almost hear it rising
from the earth like the distant beat of rasta drums. It had been more
that twenty years since it had been his permanent home, but now,
as his plane prepared to land, he had that familiar feeling of coming
home. It always felt good to be back, though this time would be
The Tangled Web
By J. P. Lane
Ahhh, the beautiful Caribbean...it is enticingly beautiful and welcoming. J. P. Lane spends some time sharing that beauty in her narrative, but I noticed right away that she writes with that edgy tension that makes me realize that I'm going to be fast pulled into the action and adventure she's providing. And I wasn't disappointed!
Two main characters--Logan Armstrong and Lauren... are attracted to each other when they meet. Lauren is an investigative reporter; Logan is...a very rich man...more on him later. Lauren had made her own reputation on the local newspaper, so much so that, when she interacted with people, they weren't quite sure they were not being "investigated" for some criminal act. In fact, she was quite vocal about the corruption of the local government...Not always a safe thing to do...
Logan Armstrong was originally from the island and still had a deep love for his homeland, although he worked in New York owning a variety of businesses. Because he maintained a home interest, he was upset when he learned that five people had been murdered while out on their boat. They thought they were headed for the rarely visited Fisherman's Key on the south coast of the island. But as they had got closer they had seen there were cigarette boats already docked and then a seaplane appeared. The sea had welcomed them; but, that day, those already there and in the plane did not. They had turned to escape, but it was already too late...
Logan knew, as did most other people, that those five people had more than likely been in the wrong place at the wrong time and that they had died because of that. Some type of drug transaction had doubtless been taking place. Lauren was quick to start working on the case and report the details, but there was not much evidence that was found.
Logan was on his way to the island, but for a secret meeting. There were still honest government officials there and he was going to talk with three of them. And, at the meeting they had decided. Something must be done...
At the same time, in Columbia, the head of the drug cartel was fuming over what she had just been told. The Prime Minister of the most important entry into the US was demanding 50% of the profit from the drugs that were, in essence, being transferred on the island. She had depended on her representative, but he had not been able to persuade him to take a lower cut. But, having the head of the local government be willing to allow their drugs through was highly unusual! Still, she knew what must be done...
The Prime Minister must die...
I must say that I enjoy the almost farcical humor of parts of this novel...especially the decisions of the "second" assassin... And then there is the less than smooth switch to the romance between Logan and Lauren toward the end--almost saying, in effect, well, the political intrigue, drugs, murder--they'll all continue and we know that! One intrigue will be stopped; a new one will start... What's important is that we've decided we've got to clarify what happened as it affects us--after all, we're in love!
And even then the author left another tangled web as she closed, announcing another assassination was being planned...
Lane, as mentioned in her bio, has traveled extensively and her novel certainly reflects that experience. I enjoyed that, as a former, newspaper woman, she created her main character as an investigative reporter--perhaps the role she once played or wanted to play. But Lauren, her character, is a strong, opinionated, and aggressive individual who wants to know the truth and is not afraid of "getting dirty" to dig into what is actually happening. Her nosiness got her into some trouble, but it also got her married...I loved it! It would be nice to meet Lauren and Lance again in the future. What say you, J.P.?
It isn't surprising J.P. Lane's point of view is global. From an early age, she was trekking from Jamaica (where she was born and raised) to Europe with her family. During her adult years, Lane has blazed a trail across the world, following her star and gathering the international experience that is reflected in her writing. She has lived in London, Southeast Asia, Puerto Rico, and Miami where she was an award-winning writer for The Miami Herald's marketing team. She has been published in other leading Florida publications, including "Florida Design Magazine." Lane now resides in north Florida where she's currently working on her second novel.