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Posted March 8, 2014
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Wow...it took me a while to really get sucked into the novel, but once I was hooked and found myself in a comfy couch, I was flipping the pages as fast as possible. I loved the whole plot because I found it to be very unique. The characters were very realistic and I loved how the story is told from both the protagonist and villain's point of view.
The protagonist of the novel, Lynn, is the executive manager of a oil company. She made a huge investment in purchasing several oil refineries; she knows there is no room for mistakes as many of her coworkers don't respect her because she is a female working in a male dominated industry. Her career depends on making a profit from the refinery. However, trouble seems to follow Lynn every where.
The novel opens with Lynn dealing with a fatal accident on the rig in which 4 workers are killed from a gas leak. At first, it seems like the accident was caused by a careless mistake. However, soon another accident occurs...and another...and another. As Lynn's credibility plunges, she can't help but feel as if someone is delibrately sabotaging the company.
Lynn's instinct are correct, as readers quickly find out when the novel switches POV. Robert is the mastermind behind all the "accidents" occurring. A rather haughty Frenchman, Robert has made a deal with Sensei, another oil company. If he can help Sensei become a major company in America, then Robert will be able make quite a bit of profit and fund a project of his interest (providing third world countries their own oil refineries.)
It takes a bit of time for the plot to really start moving along, since the first 1/3 of the book is mostly Lynn trying keep everything under control as she witnesses the sabotage caused by Robert and his crew. However, once Lynn suspects foul play is involved, then the game of cat and mouse really gets kicked up a notch.
The author really knows what she is talking about in regards of the oil/energy industry. Starks seems to be very familiar with terminology related to the business; fortunately for reader, she has taken the time to explain what terms such as sour crude and sulfer hydroxide mean. The plot pacing of the novel isn't particularly fast, nor is it particularly slow; I guess you could say that the plot was medium paced through and through.
I recommend this book if you're looking for a good mystery (yes, even though you do know that Robert is the mastermind behind the "accidents", you don't know who is the person doing the actual crimes) but not a fast paced novel.
Posted April 22, 2007
13Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy by LA Starks Espionage/Thriller The devastation and havoc caused by hurricane Katrina should have been a wake up call for America. But, as soon as gas prices began to drop, media attention reverted back to the latest tabloid issues. It is with the memory of this devastation and the long list of consequences this country could endure as a result of our oil addiction, that LA Starks penned this explosive debut novel. 13 Days is an espionage thriller taking the reader as close to the industry as possible, without dawning a hard hat and being part of the crew. With Centennial Refinery on the verge of bankruptcy and management unable to shore up their company from within, the stage was set for an outside takeover. TriCoast Energy took control of the fledgling refinery. Lynn Dayton had four weeks to prove this a profitable venture to the board of directors. She had no way of knowing what began as merely another job, would soon become a matter of life and death for the employees, the refinery, and most importantly her family. Lynn Dayton is a strong character, engaging and intelligent. Her commitment to her family is mistakenly considered a weakness for an idealist that seriously underestimated his target. With a magna-cum-laude degree in engineering, MBA in finance and a career in the oil industry LA Starks provides a glimpse into the politics, secrets, and vulnerabilities as only someone with her extensive knowledge could deliver. I found the notes, definitions, and diagrams to be invaluable resources. While the lengthy detailed narratives, seemed to slow the story once or twice, these indepth descriptions were a vital ingredient for understanding of this complex subject matter. The plot, characters, and settings are all well thought out and delivered with the expertise of an award winning author. 13 Days is an excellent read that is as interesting as it is frightening. LA Starks has created a suspense filled thriller, that will keep the reader thinking from the very first chapter. Plot twists, unexpected betrayals, manipulations and so much more, this one has it all. If you love a good thriller, that keeps you up reading way past your bed time, look no further than 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy. This is an exceptionally well written novel. I found it difficult to believe it was LA Starks debut novel. Well developed characters, strong and entertaining, 13 Days is one of those rare books that stays in your thoughts long after you've finished reading it! With this being the First - readers are sure to have many exceptionally well crafted titles to choose from. RJ McGill (in order to post reviews, B&N requires rating # be included)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 9, 2008
Tri Coast Energy Executive Vice President of Oil Refineries Lynn Dayton convinced her boss to buy out Centennial by betting her job that she could have the newest acquisition¿s refineries on the Houston Ship Channel working within three months. With only a few weeks to go to make good on her wager, there remains problems. The worst is an accident that leaves four people dead when the refinery leaked poisonous gas H2S caused by a malfunctioning valve.----------- After examining the site and interviewing the lone survivor, Lynn begins to believe the accident was sabotage. Threats are made to her by phone and someone tries to assault her while she is running. The trouble is not limited to Tricentennial Refineries or others on the Ship Channel. Serious ¿accidents¿ occur that lead to US gas shortages. Lynn believes there is a conspiracy involving people who want the oil refineries shut down although she has no idea who. Her inquiries lead to someone wanting her dead before she can obtain the truth.----------------- There is a lot of technical and scientific data interwoven in the story line dealing with how an oil refinery works that add too much complexity for the average layman to understand. Still that adds to the realism that the exciting 13 DAYS is a plausible business espionage thriller. Readers will enjoy the courage and risk taking of the female protagonist as she is a combo of vulnerability and strength.------------ Harriet KlausnerWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.