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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
If you’re not familiar with author Joni M Fisher, West of Famous is a great book to help you become acquainted, and I’m sure once you are, you’ll be busy searching for her other books. A former journalist, she is also a private pilot who uses her extensive knowledge of aviation to add interesting twists to the plot of West of Famous, the third in a series of books called the Compass Crimes. This contemporary suspense story gets off the ground when a female celebrity body double wakes up to find herself dazed, beaten up and locked in the engine room of a luxury boat docked, as she later determines, somewhere in the mangrove swamps of the Florida Everglades. She is at the mercy of two masked kidnappers who believe they have kidnapped the celebrity herself and are out to get a six-million-dollar ransom. As the protagonist Martina soon realizes, she is in deadly situation: if she could dive off the boat and doesn’t end up in the jaws of a crocodile, how far before she can swim to land, and how will she stay alive till someone rescues her? Alternately, once the kidnappers are sure of getting the ransom, what’s to stop them from killing her? Worse yet, what happens if they find out she is not the celebrity herself after all?
Fisher does a superb job of helping readers experience Martina’s growing desperation and apprehension. Despite her fighting spirit and resourcefulness, we worry for her throughout. So does her brother, her boyfriend and the FBI agents brought into the search, all laboring under the need for secrecy because the whereabouts of the actual celebrity must remain hidden from the public. The action and mounting tension in West of Famous doesn’t stop till the end. This is a book you won’t want to set aside for later. Coupled with a touching rendering of family love and values, along with a belief in God, West of Famous will appeal to all who believe in the ultimate goodness of human beings. Don’t hesitate to read this one.