Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Berlin Package

In this sequel to Murder on Safari, an unlikely trio including a movie producer, a film star, and an African tour guide must protect themselves and the world from a dangerous terrorist nuclear trade. Pero Baltazar is the aforementioned film producer, thinking initially he is taking a film assignment in the German capital of Berlin and is attempting to get his career back on track that experienced a turnaround due to a life-endangering experience in East Africa where the terroristic al-Shabaab attacked his convoy. However, he again is reluctantly thrust into the world of danger when the U.S. State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency give him a secret assignment, its contractors ready to eliminate him if he doesn’t succeed.

Baltazar thus seeks help from friends and allies to uncover the mystery of the package, with potential connections to Nazi concentration camp gold that the United States Treasury Department recently sold. He must also help thwart the head of a prominent banking group that once served as the head of the deceased East German Ministry for State Security, or Stasi as it was commonly called during the Cold War. Pero thus summons his old friend, the African tour guide Mbuno, to help track the moves of his adversaries as though they were animals, and race to rescue a kidnapped film star and director.

The novel itself commences with an airplane having troubles over the Atlantic during a night in March, aboard which protagonist Pero Baltazar is, and is effective in rectifying the aircraft’s engine problems, and is lauded for a safe landing. He’s ultimately recruited by police for a dangerous mission that takes him to European locales such as Switzerland, with this sequel overall being an enjoyable one, having an agile pace and never becoming boring or repetitive as can be the case with subsequent novels in franchises. Overall, this reviewer would very much recommend this book to those that enjoyed its predecessor.

Peter Riva has spent many months over 30 years travelling throughout Africa and Europe. Much of this time was spent with the legendary guides for East African hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series in 1995 called Wild Things for Paramount. Passing on the fables, true tales, and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is his passion. Nonetheless, his job for over forty years has been working as a literary agent. In his spare time, Riva writes science fiction and African adventure books. He lives in Gila, New Mexico.

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