Ransoming a painting is complicated in the midst of a war

“Zrada” by Lance Charnes features Carson, a former police detective, who is now a take-no-prisoners operative working for the DeWitt Agency. Her current assignment has taken her to a war -orn area of Ukraine to ransom two valuable paintings stolen from a prominent museum. The deal is done; the exchange is set; but nothing goes as planned. Warring factions clash in efforts to acquire both the ransom money and the paintings, and to probably end Carson’s life in the process. The political conspiracy is complex, however, and involves more than just getting back a couple of paintings.

The plot proceeds at a frantic pace, taking place over just a few days. Carson is enmeshed in non-stop action right from the start, and just when readers think things have quieted down a bit, another shock comes along. The characters are complex and diverse including foreigners, nationals, rebels, and of course Carson who is trying to escape them all. Chapters identify the main point of view, and there is a convenient cast list to help readers track the people and their official roles.  The geography of Ukraine also plays a critical role, and countryside, cityscape, and geographic landmarks are distinctively described.

“Zrada” is a non-stop fight-to-the-finish filled with guns, gore, and glory. Carson is strong, determined, focused, and driven to win. I received a review copy of “Zrada” from Lance Charnes and The Wombat Group. It is gripping and dangerous which made it quick to read because I could not put it down.  This is the first in Charnes’ new action-adventure series featuring Carson; I am sure there will be more non-stop action for her in the future.