John Sanford’s Storm Front begins in Israel, where a man clutching a backpack searches desperately for a boat. In Minnesota, Virgil Flowers gets a message from Lucas Davenport: You’re about to get a visitor. It’s an Israeli cop, and she’s tailing a man who’s smuggled out an extraordinary relic—a copper scroll revealing startling details about the man known as King Solomon.
Wait a minute, laughs Virgil. Is this one of those Da Vinci Code deals? The secret scroll, the blockbuster revelation, the teams of murderous bad guys? Should I be boning up on my Bible verses?
He looks at the cop. She’s not laughing. As it turns out, there are very bad men chasing the relic, and they don’t care who’s in the way or what they have to do to get it. Maybe Virgil should start praying.
If you enjoyed Storm Front, take these Indie suggestions for a whirl:
The Curse of Akbar by Troy Bond
Dalton Scott has dropped out. Once an aspiring academic at Oxford, he has been driven by personal tragedy to an Italian seaside village where he ferries tourists to the local sites. Unfortunately, the murder of his friend and former colleague in Oxford draws him back to reality. He finds himself on a chase across three continents to find both a murderer and the mysterious Text of Akbar that his friend was translating. Rumors about the text have caused an uproar in the academic community and someone is willing to kill to get possession of it. It is up to Dalton to find the document and the murderer without getting killed himself.
The Romanov Stone by Robert C. Yeager
Just before she dies from injuries from what looks to be an accident, Kate Gavrill’s mother, Irina, whispers something to Kate that sets her on a journey delving into the secrets of past generations. In order to locate and claim a treasure that was bequeathed to Kate’s great-grandmother by Russia’s last Tsar, Nicholas Romanov, Kate has to claim her fortune, whilst also restoring her family’s rightful place in history.
The Romanov Stone, loosely based on actual events and characters, seamlessly weaves past and present together relating the story behind Kate’s family, how they came to be in possession of the stone, and why Kate’s mother ends up as a victim of a hit-and-run. The plot moves quickly in this mystery-turned-thriller as Kate finds herself fighting for survival in her effort to fulfill her promise to her dying mother.
The Mercy Project by Jeffrey Royer
“Take this and get out of here. You have to run,” Daniel Pendelton whispered to his son, Henry, as he lay dying. Up to that point, Henry had been living the charmed life of a wealthy college student, sharing with friends a townhouse bought for him by his parents and partying with his beautiful girlfriend. Now he is running for his life, chased by an old family friend, with family members dropping like flies around him. Fortunately, he rises to the occasion. Using those latent survival skills that characters in thrillers all seem to possess Henry goes on the run as only the rich with credit cards can—hiding out in a suite at the Ritz.
The Mercy Project is a fast paced thriller, with political underpinnings, with more action than government policy.
Justifiable by Wes Sarginson and Dianna Love
It starts with a cold-blooded murder in the snow, a harbinger administering extreme justice in the name of God. It becomes a pivotal journey for both a flailing local newsman and an investigator looking for answers in a series of murders in Philadelphia and one much closer to home for her. Steeped in the backdrop of a very corrupt Catholic Church and an impending papal visit, the stakes rise with the body count and one missing child.
Justifiable is a fast moving mystery that keeps the reader engaged and guessing while delving into each character’s unique and urgent motivation for solving a brutal crime spree laced with questions of faith and redemption.
Plan X by Lise McClendon
PLAN X starts with Bozeman Police Officer Cody Byrne speeding away from PTSD and her own insomnia toward the scene of a deadly explosion on the campus of Montana State University.
As a second blast rocks the first responders, Byrne has to fight back a panic attack as she flashed back to her tour of duty as a bomb scene investigator in Iraq. Based on her Army experience, she is brought in on the case.
The mystery and intrigue are engaging, the changing landscapes are described subtly but artfully. By the conclusion, everything else seems almost a backdrop for McClendon’s tale of her protagonist’s own self-discovery.