It’s not often you pick up a mystery/thriller as full of suspense, romance and even humor as CHASING THE DEVIL’S BREATH, GEORGE R. HOPKINS is. George R. Hopkins has woven them all together very neatly in this almost impossible to put down novel, and it  works!

From the ominous beginning where retired policeman, Tom Cavanaugh, now turned P.I., discovers a dead blackbird on top of his jeep, to the rather bloody ending where a whole pile of bloodied dead bodies lie sprawled around a warehouse, the pace never slackens. Tom, and eventually his wife who insists on accompanying him to Mexico on a job in the hopes their trip might be a honeymoon, find themselves on beaches where jaguars roam the jungle, poisonous snakes slither down trees, and even more dangerously, murderers murder and maniacs plot to bring down the world using a mind-altering, deadly drug called Devil’s Breath. Is Devil’s Breath an urban legend or real? Check out that link!

Adding to the enjoyment of CHASING THE DEVIL’S BREATH, GEORGE R. HOPKINS is the romantic angle of this thriller. Once in Mexico, Tom is reunited with his brother, now a priest, but formerly in love with the beautiful Maria. Maria has asked for Jack’s help in locating her brother. When Maria is shot, Jack is hell-bent on finding her assassin, not just for her sake, but also for a clever, street-smart and orphaned youngster, Chico. Chico proves indispensable to both Jack and Tom. At the same time, the tender exchanges of emotion and information between Jack and Chico provide welcome relief to the mounting tension in the novel.

A lot of action takes place in CHASING THE DEVIL’S BREATH, GEORGE R. HOPKINS as the setting skips back and forth between Staten Island and Mompox, Mexico, but the reader doesn’t get lost between the switching venues and multitude of characters. Plenty of white space in the layout of the book keeps eyes from getting tired as readers will want to keep going non-stop to find out how it all works out in the end. Dialogue is plentiful; description is colorful; and characters are believable and likeable. Enjoy! I certainly did.

© Viga Boland, author and book reviewer


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