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Title: Engadine Aerie (Hardy Durkin Travel Mystery Book 5)
Author: Bluette Matthey
Genre: Fiction, Mystery, Murder, Crime
Publisher: Blue Shutter Publishing
Engadine Aerie by Bluette Matthey is the fifth book in the Hardy Durkin travel mystery series. The book is a standalone, thus reading of previous ones in the series isn't necessary. Travel and mystery are two words that I'm terribly fond of, so needless to say, I was engaged throughout.
Set in the beautiful Engadine valley of Switzerland, the annual ski marathon has gathered enthusiasts from all over the world. The protagonist, Hardy Durkin, is a ski tour operator who has arrived at St. Moritz to help his friend start up her ski tour business. He is immediately attracted to the middle eastern skier from the group, Maryam, who is the wife of an Abu Dhabi elite. When Durkin and Maryam find a body buried in the snow, little does anyone realize that it is the beginning of a series of unfortunate events. Durkin is faced with weaponised drones, an illegal arms deal, poisons and is successful in stopping a terror attack in the nick of time. With suspects within the skiing group itself, Durkin follows his instincts and is often found a step ahead of the police, finding himself at the right place at the right time. But then, someone decides to end Durkin's interference once and for all.
First things first. The location chosen for this story is fantastic! Set in the quaint Engadine valley where peace prevails, murders and bombings make for an unusual but exciting story. Glimpses of the great white Alps and of the St. Moritz town are generously provided for us to soak up. The narration is to the point, perfect for a murder and crime story. The action and pace of the story are well balanced, making it a smooth read.
The protagonist's character is bold and sharp, apparently due to his previous experiences with bad guys and bad situations. The other characters are just adequately described. I found this book to be fast and absorbing. It is a quick read but with the enchanting Swiss backdrop and curious events, I really didn't want the book to end.
I cannot think of anything that was not likable except for the one tiny little thing. Maybe I was expecting a complete closure towards the end. It doesn't leave the story incomplete but there were these tiny stray ends almost ready to be tied up, you know? Again, a slight expectation from my side and not something that affects the story in any way. So, no harm done. The book ends with the hope that the next Hardy Durkin's would be as exciting and adrenaline pumping as this one was, if not more.
If you've read the previous books in the series, you probably know that the author sets his stories in lesser known places, which is so awesome! Awaiting the author to take us to another exotic locale in his next adventure!
Last word. Like Switzerland? Like murders and crimes? If yes, then grab this book, sit back and enjoy!
*** Given a free copy for an honest review ***