In Bond’s (Hammerhead, 2011) tense thriller, an abused woman runs afoul of her husband’s underworld employer and has an unexpected encounter with the supernatural.
After Erica Morgan suffers through another in a series of brutal beatings by her husband, she finally reaches her breaking point. She decides to use her shopping money to hire a hit man. She finds it difficult to locate someone willing to kill him, however, because he’s a drug runner for a Venezuelan cartel—so Erica does the job herself. She also steals 210 kilos of gold bars from her husband’s safe, which sets the cartel after her “like dogs after a butcher’s truck.” She and her old friend Rafi, a Scots-Iraqi dealer in stolen art, escape in Rafi’s boat; they plan to stash the gold in a Cayman Islands bank account with the help of Rafi’s Ukrainian mentor—who turns out to be not exactly the man they expect. Also unexpected is a strange supernatural entity they discover that dwells at the bottom of a cenote, or natural well, near the cartel boss’s hideaway. The author shows a mastery of a wide range of subjects, including boating, diving and cave geology, and his crisp writing keeps the suspense taut while bringing the dangers facing the protagonists into sharp and visceral focus. He fully fleshes out his characters, particularly Erica; her transformation from battered wife to survivor-at-all-costs is realistic and satisfying, and her distrust of strangers fuels the novel’s narrative tension until the thrilling conclusion.
An intense, relentless story of survival.