The Smoke Hunter

The Smoke Hunter

by Jacquelyn Benson


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The Smoke Hunter by Jacquelyn Benson

"Indiana Jones meets Lara Croft in Benson's engrossing action thriller."
-RT Book Reviews, Top Pick


Frustrated suffragette and would-be archaeologist Ellie Mallory stumbles across a map to a city that shouldn't exist, a jungle metropolis alive and flourishing centuries after the Mayan civilization mysteriously collapsed. Discovering it would make her career, but Ellie isn't the only one after the prize. A disgraced professor and his ruthless handler are hot on her heels, willing to go any extreme to acquire the map for themselves.

To race them through the uncharted jungle, Ellie needs a guide. The only one with the expertise is maverick surveyor Adam Bates. But with his determination to nose his way into Ellie's many secrets, Bates is a dangerous partner.

As Ellie gets closer to her goal, she realizes it's not just her ambitions at stake. A powerful secret lies hidden in the heart of the city - and if it falls into the wrong hands, it could shake the very fate of the world.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455569069
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 09/13/2016
Pages: 448
Sales rank: 845,079
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Jacquelyn Benson has always known who she wanted to be when she grew up: Indiana Jones. She studied anthropology in Belfast, Northern Ireland and married a man from Dublin, New Hampshire. She wrote a thesis on paranormal investigators and spent four years living in a museum. When not writing, you may find her turning flowers into wine, herding her unruly offspring, or hiding under a blanket devouring genre fiction.

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The Smoke Hunter 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fast moving adventure story with a bit of romance as well.
nean54 More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading the book! Looking forward to reading the next one!
MissPrint More than 1 year ago
Ellie Mallory has few regrets when she loses her position as a government archivist after her arrest at a suffragist rally. Her exit ends with a neat bit of rebellion when Ellie grabs an unassuming Psalter that has been mis-catalogued. Inside the book Ellie finds a mysterious stone with odd carvings along with a map to a hidden city that shouldn't exist. The map claims to lead the way to a Mayan city deep in the jungle that was flourishing long after the civilization's collapse. Finding the city could make Ellie's career and open doors for her that have long been barred because of her gender. When pursuers threaten to take Ellie's prize out from under her, she embarks on a journey on her own to Belize City where she plans to mount her own expedition and find the city first. Ellie reluctantly hires on Adam Bates, a local surveyor and experienced explorer, to help her reach the hidden location. As Ellie and Adam approach their destination there realize there is more at stake than credit for an unprecedented discovery. Dark forces are at work and Ellie and Adam are being drawn to their source in The Smoke Hunter (2016) by Jacquelyn Benson. The Smoke Hunter is Benson's debut novel. The Smoke Hunter unfortunately has a slow start. A prologue dating from 1632 sets the scene but also delays drawing readers into the story. Despite the breakneck pacing and constant action, Ellie's journey is slow to start with substantial setup as she discovers the map and also as she works to begin her exhibition. Stilted dialogue and overlaps in the narrative from chapters that alternate close third-person point of view work to create an uneasy distance between readers and what should be a plot filled with urgency and immediacy. Ellie and Adam are unlikely allies and a powerful force as they learn to trust each other and work together over the course of The Smoke Hunter. Readers willing to put in time with the setup in the beginning will be rewarded with a story filled with light adventure and high action. Possible Pairings: Heart of Fire by Linda Howard, The Secret Sister by Elizabeth Lowell, Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel, Sandstorm by James Rollins, Indiana Jones, Romancing the Stone
Debby43 More than 1 year ago
This story was not what I expected at all. It definitely reminded me of Indiana Jones but with a strong female character instead of a damsel in distress. I really enjoyed the fact that both lead characters were strong willed and clashed at some things. I was not expecting this to be set in 1898 I have no idea how I missed that in the description.. it’s one of the first sentences. One negative part this book ended way to soon I would gladly go on more adventures with Adam and Ellie any time. Will there be a second book?? Ellie is a wonderful main female heroine. She knows what she wants and doesn’t back down to the limitations set in her time period. Even when society says she should just get married and start popping out babies she does the opposite and graduates top of her class and gets an upper level job. Ellie’s knowledge is limitless she really amazed even me with her level of knowledge on artifacts and such. After she steals an artifact from her boss she travels to central america to find the ruins that the artifact pertains to. However a woman traveling alone can lead to only bad things in 1898 so she needs to find a guide. The guide she ends up with turns out to be more than she bargained for. Enter the snake wrestling, boat driving, machete wielding, map maker Adam Bates. Let me tell you while Ellie may have not had insta-love for this very masculine hero, but I definitely did. He is the only guide Ellie can get to take her into the jungle to find the ruins. Of course she doesn’t tell him the whole truth behind everything which leads to some interesting parts in the book. Adams character reminded me very much of a more laid back Indiana Jones. He was very calm about taking Ellie out to the wild with him. He even loved the fact that she was brainy. His open attitude toward new things and what happens around him makes me enjoy his character even more. Even when things look super bleak he can find the good part in it. The thought that was put into this book was amazing, I will say the first couple chapters are a little rough to get into but once Ellie gets to Central America it gets great from there. However the details of the characters and what is surrounding them was wonderful. When they were sweating through the jungle so was I. When they were running for their lives, so was I. This book had to be thoroughly researched just to understand the culture in the area is not something you can just google.