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Posted November 24, 2008
When FBI agent James Benedict goes on a two week cruise, he thought he was going to relax and rest. But when a passenger dies covered in bois that eat the flesh and bone, he is called in to assist. When another person dies of similar but strange conditions, they fear a virus has been unleashed.<BR/><BR/>It is soon discovered it isn't a virus but someone is murdering these people. James begins investigating whether there is any connection between the select few who have died. <BR/><BR/>Dr. Julie Holding is James' girlfriend back at work. She has trouble focusing on work knowing he is on a ship that appears to be a time bomb. She soon joins in by working on the mystery.<BR/><BR/>Can James find the connection before another person is killed? <BR/><BR/>This book is well-written and fast-paced. I found myself picking it up continuously to read further and try to unravel the well-constructed mystery. James was a great character and his long-distance relationship with Julie was very endearing.<BR/><BR/>I found myself engrossed in the story and wondering who was doing it right up until things were revealed. I highly recommend this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 31, 2008
For the most part, the hundreds of illnesses we read about on cruises are contact-related. Starting with contaminated food, or using poor hand-washing techniques, a gastrointestinal illness easily spreads among the thousands of people living and eating in close quarters. Such viral infections take hours or even days to show symptoms. Very rarely does an illness result in death on a cruise, but it does happen ¿ remember Legionnaire¿s Disease, which sickened sixteen and killed one in 1994. In Donna Dawson¿s book, ¿Vengeance¿ the first symptoms of horrible death starts in seconds, leading to messy demise in mere hours, even minutes. And it keeps happening among passengers at the mercy of a ruthless killer while they sail the Pacific, bound for Hawaii.<BR/><BR/>Donna spins a fast paced tale when her hero, FBI Special Agent James Kirk Benedict, happens to be on board the cruise. Equipped with a satellite phone, he maintains contact with fellow Bureau members ashore in San Diego, searching for links among the victims, to find surprising questions. How does a mega-deadly version of Agent Orange create rapid death and such deadly menace? And why would Agent Orange be found on board, in any dose? After all, even in tiny parts per million, the Vietnam era chemical resulted in life-long devastation to our troops, our enemy, and the land around them. While tracking down the killer on board Benedict and his team find links to a mastermind known as ¿Nam.¿ Who is Nam; is he also responsible for the cruise deaths? Could he be the person who, a few years before, wiped out a fishing boat, a Beluga whale, and an entire Arctic village who tried to eat it ¿ all using an Agent Orange derivative?<BR/><BR/>Donna¿s unusual setting, chemical dangers, plot twists and fascinating use of modern technology keep ¿Vengeance¿ captivating. To further sweeten the mix, she gives Agent Benedict a doctor girlfriend back on shore, a co-worker striving to save the sanity of a young child Benedict had earlier saved from death, but not from a brutal kidnapping and rape. Dr. Julie Holding employs unusual means to help the child, Cassandra ¿ prayer and Bible-study. Cassandra is a victim being recovered with positive means ¿ polar opposite to Nam who is avenging his father, dead as a result of wartime Agent Orange exposure. The heart-pounding final chapters of this suspenseful novel weave all these characters into a deadly encounter threatening the lives of each.<BR/><BR/>Discussing the unusual aspects of this finale, the author reminds us that sometimes it takes reaching beyond normal means to survive: ¿Everyone has two choices in recovering as a victim: you can rise above it as Dr. Julie is helping Cassandra to do; or you can `get even¿ as Nam has done with that vengeance resulting in the victimization of others.¿Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.