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Reviewed by Tilmer Wright Jr for Readers' Favorite
Rise of the Unicorn by D. Elliot Woods introduces Augustus, aka Gus Martin, a police negotiator in Los Angeles. Gus has a complicated past, punctuated by professional tragedy and personal hardships that have challenged him and molded his view of the world, for better or worse. So when Gus finds himself in the middle of a tense situation with a group of bank robbers calling themselves The Unicorn, he must balance the baggage from his past and the stresses of working with a new, untested, and politically scrutinized boss against a scenario that could result in the loss of dozens of lives. Who is The Unicorn? What is their ultimate goal? Will Gus be a hero, or will he fall victim to second-guessing and doubts inflicted by his past?
D. Elliot Woods’s Rise of the Unicorn is a page-turner. I know that sounds like a cliché, but it’s an apt description of this action-packed, non-stop thriller. Woods has a genuine gift for painting a vivid and believable picture of a high-stakes armed robbery, a situation in which the lives of innocent men, women, and children hang in the balance. The air of mystery around The Unicorn group is both compelling and well-crafted. Wood’s solid Hollywood background undoubtedly contributes to his formidable storytelling skills, and this story is much more intriguing than it appears at the outset. This tale has twists and turns that no one will see coming, making it the best kind of thriller for me. It thoroughly entertains, but it has significant and relevant messages to impart to us, messages that truly matter and that transcend mere entertainment.