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5.0/5
Star Star Star Star Star
High Andes
by Rolf Margenau
Fiction - Thriller - General
276 Pages
Reviewed on 11/28/2014

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This author will review your book in exchange for a review of theirs This author donates books to schools, libraries and other nonprofits
Author Biography
The author of Public Information has had a varied career. He has been a scrub nurse in an operating room, a professional photographer, a soldier during the Korean War, a correspondent for the Pacific Stars and Stripes, an attorney specializing in international corporate law, a volunteer executive running a not-for-profit dedicated to housing the homeless, a manager of large and small businesses and, lately, an author and Master Gardener.

He first published short stories as an English Major from Yale. Finding the double-digit pay for that work insufficient to support a wife and one and a half children, he went to law school in hopes of finding better paying work. Fortunately, that proved to be the case.

When the author discovered that his wife kept all the 300 plus letters he wrote her from Korea, he decided to use that material as the basis for a novel about the Korean War. It was a story he had wanted to tell for many years.

Public Information is based on his experiences as NCO in charge of a combat Infantry Division Public Information (hence the title) Office in Korea. It tells the story of Wylie Cypher, a hapless young soldier who arrives in Korea in the midst of bloody combat. Wylie manages to survive his sixteen-month tour of duty as Margenau recounts in gory, ribald, poignant and accurate detail. His adventures are recounted in military jargon and his sometimes abrasive involvement with the “Army way” describes the good, bad and incredible of life in the military. Along the way, Wylie manages to find and lose love.

Other veterans have found the story authentic and highly illustrative of the background and details of the Korean War. Publisher’s Weekly commented on the author’s ability to create a sense of time and place. During the summer of 2012, Public Information became an Amazon.com Kindle best seller.

Pistils and Poetry is the author’s second book. It is a compilation of Margenau’s favorite Elizabethan poems (Shakespeare, Marlowe, Donne, and numerous others) juxtaposed with the author’s photographs of flowers. It is a rich and engaging poetry book, enhanced and complimented by luscious photos of flowers. The book is considered as an elegant way to tease reluctant poetry readers into an appreciation of the beautiful sentiments and language of long ago masters of the English language.

Encouraged by the reception for his first novel, Margenau published Master Gardener, his second novel, in March 2013. It is a story that explores conflicts between the benefits of engineered crops and their potential for ecological disaster. Wylie Cypher, the hero of Public Information, is now seventy-five years old. He uses his life and legal experience to defend one of the women in his life, Anne Proctor, against the machinations of malevolent BIG AG. Senior citizens band together as eco-terrorists to save the monarch butterfly, and Dick Geier, the ruthless and profane CEO of BIG AG, engages in corporate shenanigans that reflect current headlines. The story is set in Middletown, New Anglia, not too far from Philadelphia, and episodes along the Amazon River in Peru bracketed by episodes along the Amazon River in Peru..

His third novel, published in August 2014, is High Andes. The central narrative follows Wylie Cypher, in his mid-forties and suffering from a serious mid-life crisis, and his daughter, Mercy, as they try to elude various villains chasing them across the White Mountains of Peru. The story deals with armed insurrection by Maoist guerillas, smuggling ancient artifacts, “disappearances” of troublemakers, a five hundred year old child mummy, and the CIA.

Rolf Margenau lives in rural New Jersey with his wife, three dogs, a 1932 Chrysler convertible, and a flower garden favored by monarch butterflies. He is now working on his fourth novel. Tentatively titled National Parks, the story recounts what happens, in the near future, when Congress decides to privatize America’


Book Review
Reviewed by for Readers' Favorite

High Andes by Rolf Margenau is an action and adventure thriller. Wylie Cypher is a successful partner at Biddle & Ofstrosky, a major New York law firm, with a number of international clients, but his life is getting stale. His relations with his wife are fairly dismal, and neither of them seems to care very much about that fact. His ethics seem less rigorous than they had been when he was younger; a fact made apparent to him in his reaction to a problem with a London sale. While he's in London, a friend introduces him to Lord Wimsey, who shares connections to Peru with Cypher. Cypher agrees to courier a package on his upcoming trip to Peru for Wimsey and unwittingly gets entangled in a scheme for exporting Incan artifacts.

Rolf Margenau's action and adventure thriller, High Andes, is a historical snapshot of Peru during the 1980s, but the story begins hundreds of years before that with the mummification and open-air burial of Cocohuay, a young child. The description of her burial and the discovery of her mummified body by the Peruvian campesino Gaspar had me immediately hooked and involved in the story. I loved the descriptions of the Andes, the cloud forest and the unspoiled beauty of Peru. High Andes is a unique and marvelous story which captures the tensions and confusion of a country torn by inequality and ripped apart by opposing political forces. This sets Wylie and his daughter Mercy down for a hiking/bonding experience that offers them and the reader a lot more excitement than they ever expected. High Andes is a highly entertaining and fast-paced thriller, and I had a lot of fun reading it. It's most highly recommended.

 

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