Ready to get out of the sweltering summer heat, Sam Paris goes to his usual spot: The Peckerwood Bar in Port Salerno, Florida, famous for its spicy hot sauce and its unsavory characters. The bar patrons are as rough and tough as Sam and his language when someone annoys him. In his sixties and with a history, including as a Vietnam vet, Sam pays attention to everything and everyone around him from “Habit born out of self-preservation and lessons learned the hard way.” He’s minding his own business when a man and his attractive female partner enter the bar and are immediately seen for what they are: more than a little out of place and unconcerned about it, when they should be. The man says he’s a journalist looking for a good story-Sam’s story-and will pay. Sam agrees, and the twisted roller-coaster-like tale begins about his time in the Amazon Jungle with a beautiful, sensual woman he can neither figure out nor resist; Nazi’s in hiding; the hunt for lost cities and gold; and a number of criminal elements who all have agendas they either want to involve Sam in or believe he is involved in-and for a very particular reason. After he tells his story, Sam realizes his past has come back to haunt him-or kill him, and Sam must use every resource he has to try to survive, once again.
Sam’s stint as a Marine during the Vietnam War was followed by drug addiction, leaving him homeless until he’s picked up in New York City and groomed for a specific purpose by Ursula Jung, a woman who tells lies about what’s going on as easily as she breathes. After hooking up with Ursula, Sam never knows from one minute to the next who he’s going to be running from, who he’s being set up by or who’ll shoot at him next, or who he may have to kill to survive. Whether it’s the result of the cacao used for altitude sickness while in Peru, or real experiences that occur, Sam finds that reality and visions overlap in ways that make him question everyone’s sanity, including his own. Sometimes, his instincts are the only thing Sam knows he is sure of.
Lichtwar created this first novel to be action-based, and takes readers into New York City, Peru, deep into the Amazon Jungle, and onto Florida, where life and the people interested in Sam Paris just won’t leave him in peace to drink himself into a stupor to wash down “the dust of old memories.” The cast of characters demonstrates what happens when people who have agendas will use others and go to any lengths to attain their goals. All in all, this book is a bit of good fun and adventure and an entertaining first book from this author.
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