Headline | 2018 (20 September) | 576p | Review copy | Buy the book
Nina and Eddie are back! And how glad I am to see them. This archaeological mystery thriller series has been one of my very favourites for years and I can’t get enough of them. Nina Wilde, the famous archaeologist, and Eddie Chase, her ex-SAS bald Yorkshireman husband, are old friends of mine. They’re constantly getting to trouble and, whenever they do, we’re right by their side. The Spear of Atlantis is the fourteenth adventure in the series and, as with any of them, it can be read alone but reading them from the beginning has been such a joy.
Nina Wilde is the most famous archaeologist of her day. Her discoveries have been extraordinary and they’ve become the stuff of legend, even forming the subject for a series of successful films. Perhaps this isn’t surprising considering that they include Atlantis, Excalibur and the tomb of Hercules. Nina is a celebrity, famous most of all for Atlantis. And so when a ludicrously wealthy Emir holds an exhibition of priceless Atlantis artefacts on the maiden voyage of his enormously luxurious cruise ship Atlantia, it’s not surprising that he should invite Nina along as his guest of honour. Unfortunately, Nina, as ever, is a magnet for trouble. There is one artefact in particular that everybody wants because, so legend has it, it will lead the way to the Spear of Atlantis. And the Spear is one object that the world does not want to fall into the wrong hands. Only two things can stop that happening – one is Nina Wilde and the other is Eddie Chase.
I read The Spear of Atlantis on my summer holidays and I couldn’t have picked a better choice. This is just the sort of book you want to read to make a plane journey fly by. Recent novels in the series have been a little more hit or miss than usual, largely due to the introduction of Macy, Nina and Eddie’s precocious little daughter, who, I’m afraid to say, can be extremely irritating. But the good news is that the older she gets, the less I mind her and Eddie is becoming thankfully less child-friendly again. In fact, Macy doesn’t feature in this novel as much, leaving the adults to get on with what they do best – fighting for their lives, destroying vast swathes of cities or archaeological sites, working out puzzles and making the most atrocious puns. The result is one of my favourite books of the fourteen.
Much of The Spear of Destiny takes place either at sea or across Spain and I loved these locations (I was actually in Spain when I read it). I really enjoyed the introductory chapters aboard the cruise ship and they set up the thriller very well and then it all explodes – quite literally. Nina is on the run and Eddie isn’t too far behind her. It’s thrilling stuff. Nina gets some chapters on her own in the novel and it’s good to spend some quality time with her as she works out some extremely complex clues while trying to stay one step ahead of the baddies.
Eddie is one of my favourite characters in all fiction. I love him. He makes me laugh so many times. Andy McDermott has got his character down to the letter. He’s extremely entertaining, so well depicted – I can picture him in my head so clearly – and full of life. The baddies are a mixed and varied bunch and a couple are rather interesting and unusual. This is one of the lighter books of the series in tone but no less enjoyable for that.
As always with a thriller such as this you have to suspend your powers of disbelief. But it’s such a pleasure to do that. I’ve been reading these thrillers for over ten years and the pleasure they continue to give me is priceless. I can’t thank Andy McDermott enough for feeding my habit for Nina and Eddie.
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