The Tollbooth in the Labyrinth by Kim Ekemar

The Tollbooth in the Labyrinth

The Callaghan Tetralogy (Volume 4)
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KIRKUS REVIEW

In the final installment of this tetralogy, Callaghan and girlfriend Samantha are pursued through Mexico and Australia by an assortment of criminals and lawmen. Though eluding capture, they long for a normal life, so they hatch one final scheme to set things right.

Ekemar (The Quarry at the Crossroads, 2014, etc.) packs the finale of this original, complex tale with action and intrigue from stem to stern. Callaghan, thrust into a life of revenge, murder, and false identity after being mutilated by mobsters, crosses into Mexico with the Arizona police hot on his tail. While plotting his evasive maneuvers from local police, drug cartels, British and American gangsters, the FBI, Interpol, and assorted other ill-wishers, the resourceful Brit also manages to convince Samantha they are on a fun-filled, romantic holiday. As in earlier installments, Callaghan’s schemes are intricate and brilliant, as is Ekemar’s successful juggling of the sheer volume of characters, deceits, motives, and themes. Eventually, Callaghan must confess an edited version of his history to Samantha—a long recap that smacks of padding—and together they concoct a plan to redeem his identity. The series reverberates with various themes: identity, retribution, redemption. Callaghan’s situation blurs the lines between good and evil, and Ekemar expands that idea in this volume. Not only does Samantha willingly use her accounting and people skills toward Callaghan’s ends, but Yuliana, his ex, seizes the opportunity to exact her own very nasty revenge on a man who repeatedly raped her as a young girl. Exactly what constitutes justice and what humans are capable of under certain circumstances are key questions that run through the four books—gray areas that will cause some readers to celebrate the ending and others to reject it. Whatever one thinks of how things turn out, however, there is no doubt that suspense and mystery will join them to the last word.

A fitting thrill ride of a conclusion to a four-book series packed with complex characters, motives, and themes that will delight and perhaps trouble, but not disappoint, fans of this series.

Pub Date: Aug. 16th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1492849261
Page count: 198pp
Publisher: CreateSpace
Program: Kirkus Indie
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