TROPIC OF DARKNESS by Otto Stanley Wulff


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Rookie DEA agent Frank O’Brien must save a kidnapped boy and the world from a South American drug lord bent on gaining the formula to a compound that causes instant drug addiction in Wulff’s debut.

Former journalist Wulff utilizes many of the stylistic conventions of a best seller in this largely plot-driven thriller with minimal character development but a good deal of well-researched detail about firearms and brain chemistry. The story, in which O’Brien infiltrates a drug cartel, weeds out turncoat agents and finds love along the way, is a page turner despite plot twists that hinge on coincidence and the author’s fondness for sentences beginning with gerunds. But unlike protagonists found in more conventional thrillers, Wulff’s hero, while not quite three dimensional, is neither superman nor antihero. Rather, O’Brien is something refreshingly in-between: not exactly a bungler, but a serial victim of circumstance. As such, some of the plot actually does arise from his character, rather than the other way around. Most fascinating is Wulff’s initial treatment of a foil known only as “the assassin.” The author caresses this woman with a poetic voice absent elsewhere, penning lines that are metaphorically prophetic on a number of levels and foreshadow future events. On the whole, Wulff writes an enjoyable action thriller that holds its own against works by bestselling authors like Tom Clancy and Dan Brown. What’s more, an added bonus lurks at the edges: hints of a more serious, literate voice.

A literary thriller that will leave readers breathless for more. 


Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0557077953
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Lulu
Program: Kirkus Indie
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2012


IndieTHE UMBER CUBE by Otto Stanley Wulff
by Otto Stanley Wulff