cover image The Devil’s Elixir

The Devil’s Elixir

Raymond Khoury. Dutton, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-525-95243-5

An amazingly powerful drug provides the MacGuffin for Khoury’s exciting thriller with a paranormal twist. Narco kingpin Raoul Navarro (aka El Brujo, the shaman), who for years has been ingesting a medicinal herb known in 18th-century Mexico as the Devil’s Elixir, sees a huge market for the drug if the chemical can be synthesized into a convenient pill form (“It’ll make meth seem as boring as aspirin”). FBI agent Sean Reilly is at home in Mamaroneck, N.Y., when he receives a panicked phone call from ex-girlfriend and former DEA agent Michelle Martinez, who says she’s fled her San Diego home after armed men broke in and shot her boyfriend. Catching the next flight to California, Sean discovers a strange link between Michelle’s four-year-old son and the Devil’s Elixir. Khoury has to work hard to make the drug’s earth-shattering ramifications believable, but fans of the author’s bestselling Templar novels (The Templar Salvation, etc.) will play along. (Dec.)