The Emerald Cave by James McPike

★★★★★  After chasing down a notorious villain, Vince Ramsey picks up the trail of a dangerous arms dealer. His quest to find out who this man is and what he wants leads him across the globe. Joined by April, his equally beautiful and smart partner (both in work and love), and Daniel Copinsky, a colleague working for the Ministry in Israel, Vince sets out to solve the mystery of a century. Leaving April and Vince in Geneva to check out a lab he believes may be linked to the dealer, Vince makes the long trip down to Antarctica where he discovers the arms dealer is searching for the Holy Grail in an old abandoned Nazi bunker. He befriends a scientist who leads him to Cordoba, the arms dealer, who just days before had come asking the same questions as Vince. Cordoba and his crew waste no time capturing Vince and are soon led to the bunker by the scientist who they are threatening. Inside the bunker there are many rooms and secrets, some of which include animals you could never have dreamt of. After a long search for the Grail it is finally found and Vince somehow makes it out alive just in time to get a flight back to Switzerland in pursuit of the man who took the Grail. Back in the lab, April and Daniel are finding that the director is not as nice as he may have appeared. Vince appears in time to realize that the director was planning on purchasing the Grail in order to recreate the Big Bang.

With a refreshingly realistic twist at the end, where instead of believing the villain the hero decides instead to deem him unstable, The Emerald Cave is a fun read playing on a more modern version of Indiana Jones or James Bond. Wasting no time describing characters our minds have already made up, McPike does an excellent job of using stereotypical characters to his advantage. He uses quintessential characteristics of villains and heroes mixed with more modern settings to draw the reader into a plausible story (even if we do know it’s realistically unbelievable). The compelling plot line moves at such a pace that the reader is never bored or confused. Proving that all we need is a good adventure, McPike provides us with something we may have forgotten we wanted—a great chase.

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