Review: L. A. Starks' first novel, 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy, is a topical international thriller set in large part at one of the many oil refinery complexes that border the Houston Ship Channel.
Lynn Dayton, the oil industry executive at the center of 13 Days, is stretched so thin, both professionally and personally, that she barely has time to deal with all the issues at hand. And that is part of the problem with this book. Starks has included so many subplots involving Lynn that they ultimately dilute the effectiveness of this otherwise well written and thought out suspense novel. Had she scaled back the scope of material included, the end result would have been a much more focused, far more suspenseful, book.
13 Days moves along at a brisk pace and is generally intelligently written. The conspiracy plot is just absurd enough to be totally believable, and it is refreshing that Starks selected a group other than the stereotypical Middle Eastern extremists or the US Government to be the puppet master pulling the strings behind the conspiracy.
The book is prefaced by a list of key characters, some background notes, a map of the refinery, and a (ahem) simplified refinery process flow diagram. Many chapters are also preceded by definitions of terms that help the reader better understand and appreciate the complexity of the oil refining business, and, by inference, the difficulty Lynn faces in identifying the problems at her refinery.
Acknowledgment: Breakthrough Promotions provided an ARC of 13 Days for this review.
Review Copyright © 2006 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in 13 Days: Houston, Texas
— ♦ —
13 Days by L. A. Starks
Publisher: Brown Books
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2006
List Price: $15.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites