A historical incident influences a modern economic conspiracy in this thriller.
In the third volume of his Matt Hawkins series, Richardson (Abolition of Evil, 2016, etc.) shows how what was thought to be a myth can impede a foreign power’s attempt to take over the world economy. Matt gets pulled away from his sedate life as an antiques dealer in Savannah, Georgia, after Adam Hampton, his college roommate, commits suicide. Adam’s death feels wrong to Matt. Adam’s sister, Kate, who Matt meets again at the funeral, agrees: “ ‘I don't think Adam jumped in front of that train,’ she stated evenly. ‘I think he was pushed. In fact, I'm sure of it.’ ” As the two cohorts, who become romantically involved, begin poking around into what Adam was working on, bad things start happening to them. After her apartment gets trashed, Kate discovers a clue among Adam’s effects—an old map of New Mexico with “Geronomo’s Gold” written on it. Kate, Matt, and his mentor, Buzz Penberthy, a member of the secret society The Ring, figure out that the map has something to do with a present-day scheme involving gold. But they can’t put all of the pieces together until Matt meets with Adam’s boss, James Sinclair, who nervously lays out the situation for him: “The Chinese want more control. They want to be the world’s greatest superpower, but they recognize they can only achieve that goal if they have the world’s dominant currency.” The race is on to find Geronimo’s Gold and save the United States from becoming a second-rate economic power. Richardson has done an admirable job creating a thoughtful thriller. While he doesn’t skimp on action, he skillfully employs flashbacks so that readers understand how the activities of Geronimo, Theodore Roosevelt, and a Sinclair ancestor affect contemporary events. The characters are largely engaging, even secondary ones, such as Geronimo’s descendant Kenny Morgan, although the villains, a greedy trader and a bunch of interchangeable Chinese officials, remain fairly one-dimensional. Best of all, the author makes economics enjoyable, no mean feat. Richardson leaves readers wondering what nugget from history will next lure Matt from his antiques shop.
An involving tale that proves a modest artifact can lead to a grand adventure.