Four Days to Veracruz : A Novel

by Owen West

Four Days to Veracruz : A Novel is one of the most vivid thrillers I’ve ever read– and I read a lot of ’em.
The author, Owen West, is a serving Marine officer who’s also an adventure racer (think Eco Challenge). He draws on both those skill sets for this book, which tells the story of a newlywed couple who accidentally trespass on a Mexican drug lord’s estancia and are held hostage. They manage to escape, killing the drug lord in the process, but when they go to the local police their real problems start. Fortunately, the newlyweds are both adventure racers, and the husband is a Marine infantry officer (the husband and his best friend, Gavin Kelly, are both return characters from West’s Sharkman Six).
West did a great job with pacing and plotting, and his descriptions of the physiology and psychology of adventure endurance racing are interesting in themselves. There are many minor implausibilities (not the least of which is the inclusion of an Aztec serial killer as a foil for the chase), but they’re outweighed by West’s skill at moving the story along. Highly recommended.

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