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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
The Wrong Side of Paradise: A Top Secret Presidential Novel by Mike Shellenbergar is an exhilarating ride for fans of thrillers and covert military activities. It begins when Captain Jack contacts Diego Black Hawk, a half Ute Indian and half Mexican American, a guy with no phone, no address, and no friends, on behalf of the President. There is an important mission for him and his team, and that mission is the Russian, Alexi Vasily Volkov, the same who was involved in the assassination plan in France. He has shown up in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. So Black Hawk, together with Cowboy and Liz, set out on a mission that takes them over rough paths to stop a Russian-Cuban team from taking over Colombia and Venezuela and the nefarious plan they have for the two countries. The exhilarating action pits them against many odds to Russia to face the one behind the Russian scheme.
This is a wonderfully narrated story with compelling characters and a great plot. The writing is excellent and Mike Shellenbergar’s storytelling skills are impeccable, infusing the writing with humor and building characters that are not just rock-solid, but fun to follow. They are fully drawn, multidimensional, and intelligent. In real life, the trio would make the perfect team for covert activities. The prose is filled with vivid and detailed descriptions and I loved how the author lets the unique traits of each of the characters come out neatly in the story. The narrative voice is strong, and consistently so. This is good, robust entertainment, with plenty of nerve-jerking twists and a conflict that reflects the geopolitical realities of the international setting. The Wrong Side of Paradise is an exciting ride with characters that are not forgotten easily.