cover image Marah Chase and the Conqueror’s Tomb

Marah Chase and the Conqueror’s Tomb

Jay Stringer. Pegasus Crime, $25.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-64313-073-6

This enjoyable, if over-the-top, series launch from Stringer (How to Kill Friends and Implicate People) opens with a bang as Marah Chase, who earns large fees for retrieving valuable archeological treasures, dodges peril on a mission in Syria. When she manages to escape into Israel, she’s taken into custody on the orders of British spook Joanna Mason, who needs Marah’s help. Islamic terrorists have teamed with the Visitologists, members of a cult who believe that ancient aliens mentored humans in the past, and that the aliens will return once humanity becomes enlightened. Together, they’re seeking the tomb of Alexander the Great, which is reported to house a mysterious weapon of incredible power. Joanna asks Marah to find the tomb first and keep the “relic of mass destruction” out of the wrong hands. Readers should be prepared for numerous stock situations—Marah must evade several deathtraps, and Joanna has to deal with adversaries within her own department. Those willing to suspend disbelief, and who don’t demand novelty, will find this a fun ride. [em]Agent: Stacia Decker, Dunow, Carlson & Lerner Literary. (July) [/em]