Friday, September 28, 2012

Murder on Kilimanjaro Fantastic Ending to Series!

Kilimanjaro (Photo credit: ian 1602)
"I'd been carrying the torch for Diana ever since we'd met in Afghanistan, and though I'd thought she loved me as I loved her at one time, we'd never seemed to catch a break. Her career had kept her in New York, while mine was in the Massachusetts Berkshires working as a fellow for the Center for Middle Asian Studies. Now she was in Washington, D.C., while I was still traipsing around the world climbing mountains--too often for the Defense Intelligence Agency. It was time, I was beginning to think, for me to grow up. It was no wonder she preferred Mr. Good Teeth; I was still stuck with my own version of King of the Mountain..."
"Still, we'd never really ended it...
Murder on Kilimanjaro
A Summit Murder Mystery

Charles G. Irion
Ronald J. Watkins

What an exciting ending to the Summit Murder Mystery series! Murder on Kilimanjaro by Irion and Watkins will leave readers with a feeling of total satisfaction not only with this free-standing book which easily stands on its own or in concluding the experience of climbing all seven summits of the highest mountains in the world! I climbed four and feel like a true mountaineer and maybe someday when time permits I'll tackle the remaining three...books, that is... For true mountaineers or those who love winter sports, I would think these might be must-reads for you! For those who can only dream and read about them, I highly recommend that you start with the first climb on Everest and move straight through for a fantastic climbing marathon!

You would think that the President of the United States climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro would be enough to be the central point of a final novel. Indeed, readers will find themselves caught on top of a mountain, surrounded by those who would want nothing more than to assassinate the President! The scene is exciting, full of suspense as to whether they will be able to even get off the mountain before their lives will be in danger from the weather, lack of food and all health issues humans face once they are above a certain level, where even breathing becomes impossible for many and must use oxygen to survive...

"I read the confidential report of what happened in Antartica,"
Diana said quietly.
"It was an experience, all right."
:And a very close call. You have to give all that up, Scott. If
you keep doing this, one of these days you aren't coming
"I get your point, but if I could just get on a mountain without
a lot of crazy killers or military operations or super-secret
missions I think I'd start having a good time again, and the
only thing I'd need to worry about was twisting an ankle."
"Well, there's no secret mission this time--or killers either.
Just a man spending a week with his long-lost son, getting
in some quality time before resuming his run for president.
You're surrounded with security, so I think you've got your
I considered that for a moment, recalling the situation in
similar climbs when I'd set out. "I hope you're right."
Oh, but there is much more that politics to this story! You see, when the President was a young, unmarried man, he had visited and became acquainted with an African princess...

Only later had he become aware that during that time, he fathered a son. He had been providing for his son's education, but had never met him. His son, Onesphory, has lived with his tribe as the son of the Chief. Now his son, plus two of his school friends, would be climbing Kilimanjaro with his father and would be visiting his home...and seeing his former lover...

But Opie found that his father's entourage kept him isolated and talking about the publicity of the climb or the upcoming campaign. Little time was shared with his son... And, although the President had taken the initiative in introducing his son to the world, there were many who were not happy to learn of his past!

Still, when they visited his home and a celebration began, Onesphory dressed in tribal attire and danced, clearly in honor as a welcome to his father.

Once again, you will find mountaineers who have been on other climbs, plus you will meet a number of the guides, of course, who are the unsung heroes of many climbs to summits across the world. I was especially pleased to have a former lover of Scott Devlon there. It not only increased the knowledge of our main character, but allowed it to lead to discussions regarding Scott's possible retirement from climbing... Will this truly be his last climb?

I think the mystery presented in this last novel was the best of the series, given the political, terrorist, personal issues and personalities of the various characters who you find as men and women who are willing to risk their lives against ageless mountains that have existed long before them and will continue long after they are gone. I sure didn't get a clue of what was going to happen!

Will the series spark an interest in climbing for readers? I think for many it just might, even learning of the dangers that the mountains presents to them, especially during the colder times of the year on each of the continents. For those who are not physically able to even think of climbing, this last novel and the rest will provide a reading adventure that takes us to places we will never have the opportunity to ever see.

Many times, my favorite scripture came to mind as I read this series, so will close with the Hope that many scenes in these books inspired... Not that these books are Christian fiction, but just because of the majesty of each of these mountains and the awe they inspire!
121 I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.
May we all be mountaineers in our own lives...


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