Raymond Khoury is the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Templar, The Sanctuary, The Sign, The Templar Salvation, The Devil's Elixir, Rasputin's Shadow, and The End Game. His novels have been translated into more than forty languages and, in the case of The Last Templar, adapted into a comic book and an NBC television miniseries. An acclaimed screenwriter and producer for both television and film, he has also penned several scripts for BBC series such as Spooks and Waking the Dead.
The tenuous domestic tranquility enjoyed by FBI agent Sean Reilly (The Templar Salvation) and archaeologist-turned-author Tess Chaykin is jolted by a blast from Reilly's past. Fleeing a gruesome home invasion, former DEA agent Michelle Martinez calls Reilly, her ex-boyfriend, to protect her and Alex, the son he didn't know they shared. As Michelle's case unfolds into more than a thwarted burglary, the body count rises, and Reilly is suddenly embroiled in a multiagency investigation. Drug kingpin El Brujo (The Sorcerer) pursues Alex, believing him the means of decoding the formula of the most powerful psychotropic drug ever synthesized. Weaponized or distributed, this drug in El Brujo's hands would wreak global havoc. Khoury's screenwriting experience is evident in the easily visualized action scenes, but unlike his previous novels, the prose here lacks elegant phrasing between the punches. VERDICT This time, Khoury's soapbox topics include biker gangs, Mexican drug cartels, veterans' affairs, and the criminalization of drug use, but his key interests in this thriller are ethnobotany, proprietary rights, and the ethics of bioprospecting. For thriller fans, this exciting if sometimes dry lecture is still worth auditing. [See Prepub Alert, 3/21/11.]-Laura A.B. Cifelli, Ft. Myers-Lee Cty. P.L., FL (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
An amazingly powerful drug provides the MacGuffin for Khoury's exciting thriller with a paranormal twist. Narco kingpin Raoul Navarro (aka El Brujo, the shaman), who for years has been ingesting a medicinal herb known in 18th-century Mexico as the Devil's Elixir, sees a huge market for the drug if the chemical can be synthesized into a convenient pill form ("It'll make meth seem as boring as aspirin"). FBI agent Sean Reilly is at home in Mamaroneck, N.Y., when he receives a panicked phone call from ex-girlfriend and former DEA agent Michelle Martinez, who says she's fled her San Diego home after armed men broke in and shot her boyfriend. Catching the next flight to California, Sean discovers a strange link between Michelle's four-year-old son and the Devil's Elixir. Khoury has to work hard to make the drug's earth-shattering ramifications believable, but fans of the author's bestselling Templar novels (The Templar Salvation, etc.) will play along. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Praise for The Devil's Elixir
"The author provides enough contextual backstory for new readers without risking vexing loyal fans. His ample cultural references are fresh, and most should withstand the test of time. History, mystery, suspense, and action-Khoury knows the recipe for a good read."-Library Journal
"A fine thriller to start the new year with. A sure bet for fans of Steve Berry and James Rollins, too."-Booklist