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Land_PandorasTempleReviewed by MaryLu McFall

The author of Pandora’s Temple has dozens of books to his credit. The hero of this particular adventure is Blaine McCracken, an indestructible mature man who can face any situation with aplomb and courage. His sidekick, Wareagle, is a seven-foot Indian who, thankfully, does not call Blaine kemosabe. The two of them are on their way to rescue four college students who are hostages of a dangerous Mexican drug dealer. The trip is successful even taking the Dangerous Drug Lord captive and turning him over to the proper authorities at the border. The adventure takes a turn in New Orleans where Blaine and Wareagle are called to investigate a disaster on an oil rig. No, the culprit isn’t BP.

Everyone on the rig has been killed, except Katie Demarco (not her real name, naturally). She left the rig and is in New Orleans trying to contact Todd Lipton head of WorldSafe, an environmental group known for guerrilla tactics. Katie calls to warn him that Ocean Bore was not looking for oil, that she thinks they are on to her being a plant, and to be careful. Todd is not being careful, having granted an interview to reporter, Beth Douglas. Since the group is hidden at a site in Greenland, technology catches up with them and now their location is known. Disaster strikes within three or so chapters, and the entire group is killed by an unknown enemy.

The scene switches back and forth in one short chapter after another. Many an adventure writer today writes this way, bringing the reader to a cliff and leaving the scene after an intervening chapter or two of another plot line. In most cases this device works. However, after being cliff-hung over and over in this one it became aggravating, annoying, and over-done. Still, the action scenes were interwoven with character backgrounds so that I did come to know the characters. Blain is sixty-some, and that seemed a bit of a stretch. As they say, old soldiers…whatever. Wareagle is too nearly a cliché of an Indian to be a fully rounded character, but he serves as a sidekick with indestructible genetics. Katie is much more complex, and her life and her choices are based on events that gradually come to light.

Interwoven is the ancient story of Pandora’s Temple. Within the temple that was built in ancient times is a jar with, you guessed it, safely sealed inside what no man should ever fool with—and it’s not hope. The search is on for the Temple, supposedly somewhere in the Mediterranean. Our heroes have had escapades there before, and they are reluctant to return. But return they must and they do so with Katie who is finally shown to be quite an efficient killer.

The jar holding the secret is shown early in the novel, but no one recognizes it for what it truly is. A sub-plot emerges with a Japanese villain also seeking the jar, but his intentions are totally different. All in all, a overly complicated plot comes to a satisfactory close with some meeting their karma in expected ways.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

MaryLu McFall is the author of A Little Karmic Murder, an eBook that is available on Kindle, Nook, and all other electronic readers. She lives, works part-time at an independent bookstore, and will soon have her Young Adult novel, The Family Lancaster, published as an eBook as well.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Open Road E-riginal. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.