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A Race Across France
Thieves And Crooks
Author J.J. Dibenedetto has created a novel with adventure, action, thieves and stolen antiquities. American, Jane Barnaby, is attending Oxford; her advisor, Professor Welldon, ask her to deliver his new car and a box of pottery shards to him in Mallorca, Spain where he is vacationing.
Through a series of mishaps and mistakes, Jane unintentionally retrieves a box of antiquities and the adventure of a life time begins. The box is stolen from Jane and she races across France along with 2 sidekicks to retrieve the box. Are these two friend or foe? Jane met Alex Coggins on the ferry as she travels from England to France and Tom Barker shows up in France stating he is an employee of the Bodleian Library from which the antiquities originated.
Come along for a map-cap adventure as Jane races across France to Spain and her vacationing advisor, Professor Welldon with two men that could her friend or they could be the enemy.
CHARACTERS, PLOTTING, AND DEVELOPMENT:
This is an action filled novel with skillful character development and plotting. The plots just keep coming; Jane questions her opinion of her sidekicks, their intentions, and her attraction to Alex.
“Obviously this man wasn’t just gorgeous, with a killer voice and charm to spare-he had real talent and serious brains going for him as well. He was too good to be true.”
Ms. Dibenedetto kept the drama at high peak as her characters race to find the original box of antiquities, elude the thieves, solve the mystery, and retrieve Professor Welldon’s box. Ms. Dibenedetto’s talent in keeping the suspense at high pitch was clear. I thought several times I had the plot worked out, to find I was wrong.
At first I found Jane an odd duck; she has a memory tree on campus under which she places one rock a day at the base as she talks to her deceased mother. However I came to understand, this is just part of Jane’s personality. She is a quirky American with a lot of moxie, courage, strength, smarts, and oh boy, can that girl drive a car!
Look out “Smokey and The Bandit”, here comes Jane. I howled with laughter reading some of the scenes Ms. Dibenedetto created. I liked Jayne’s character quite a lot.
“….Pure instinct or maybe the spirit of Burt Reynolds taking hold of her for an instance. Without warning she shifted straight into reverse, turning the wheel hard to the left. She heard screaming, she couldn’t tell if it was hers or Tom’s and she saw a black blur as the BMW blew past on the right, clearing her with an inch or two to spare. …..That was her cue to go straight back into first gear and floor it.”
Tom’s conversations with himself were hilarious.
“The girl….(Jane)simply had to be a lunatic. There was no other explanation…It had to be her American upbringing. That was it. They were all crazy. Grandfather Alfred had strong opinions bout them. …..Tommy if you get mixed up with one of them when they’re on a mission you’ve only two choices. Hang on for ride, or get the hell out-of-the-way”
Ms. Dibenedetto portrayal of Alex and Tom was intriguing and skillful. Was Alex a villain or an innocent bystander assisting Jane in her quest to find the antiquities or was their meeting on the ferry prearranged by the thieves? Alex was sigh worthy with a large portion of “is he trust worthy”.
“..it was not mere annoyance but straight-up anger. It was gone as quickly as it appeared, but Jane could not mistake what she’d seen.”
Is Tom a hero or a villain? Was he really an employee of the Bodleian Library or was he part of the theft ring? Have they suddenly appeared to help her or harm her? So many questions, have no fear, Ms. Dibenedetto will weave all the threads together, answer all your questions and create a cohesive tale of theft and mystery.
The pacing of the book was spot on as Ms. Dibenedetto kept the action, suspense, and mystery at top-level. I could not wait to see who was the villain, who was the friend, and how the thieves instigated their plan. Was Tom their inside man or was Alex the dastardly villain? You will become invested in Jane and her adventure.
I recommend this book to anyone that likes a solid mystery adventure. I look forward to installment 2 with Jane and her future adventures.