Det unge ekteparet Jack og Josephine sliter i ekteskapet. De reiser på en ferie i Mexico for å få romantikken tilbake. Der treffer de den sjarmerende Stephen Potter som forteller masse om Mayaene og som blir deres guide i området. Men Potter har tydeligvis hemmeligheter. Etterhvert utvikler historien seg til en spennenede krimhistorie med Jack i hovedrollen.
Dette er en ganske pussig bok. Forfatteren skriver en spennende thriller selv om han nok virker litt uerfaren. Men det han virkelig gløder for er Mayaenes historie. Man kan lure på om han egentlig har mest lyst til å fortelle om Mayatempler og historiske utgravinger. Det er ganske betegnende at den som gir positiv omtale av boken på omslaget er forfatter av "Adventure Guide to the Yucatán, Cancün & Cozumel".
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Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula has long been lauded for its colonial cities, beautiful white sand beaches, tropic islands, and turquoise, fish-filled waters. The world's second largest barrier reef lies just off the peninsula's Caribbean coast which makes this area a paradise for snorkelers and divers. Fabulous ruins and artifacts from the Mayan Empire are found throughout the region, especially at Chichen Itza, Uxmal and Coba. It is no wonder that Jack and Jo Phillips, a young American couple, are thrilled that they have chosen to spend their vacation traveling here. Having already spent some quality romance time on Isla Mujeres, they are now ready to move-on to Chichen Itza, Merida, and then hook up with their close friend, Gus Wise, an archeologist who is doing extensive research at Coba.
On the bus to the ancient city of Chichen Itza, the couple meets another American, Stephen Potter, a computer programmer from Salt Lake City. The three hit it off right away, and decide to see the ruins together. When Jack invites Potter to accompany them to Coba, he accepts eagerly and the three move on to Merida, where they have a wonderful dinner with mucho tequila. Sporting a mammoth hangover the following morning, Phillips goes out for coffee and sweet rolls. When he returns, he discovers the very dead body of his new friend Steve Potter, and also finds that his wife has gone missing.
What follows is a fast-paced, suspense-filled thriller, fraught with action and mystery. People at the highest levels of both the US and Mexican governments are involved in major drug smuggling operations. And priceless Mexican antiquities are being stolen, from archeological sites and from the famous National Anthropological Museum in Mexico City. The FBI, CIA, DEA, US Department of State and Mexico's Federal Judicial Police all have an interest in the covert Operation Raven.
The novel, set against the lush landscape of Mexico's Quintana Roo, Yucatan and Campeche states, is enriched by the addition of fascinating information about the Mayan sites and culture in these areas. "A Tourist In The Yucatan" is very plot driven, thus the characters are not as well developed as they could be. However, they are three dimensional enough to be credible in the roles they play. The writing could be tighter, also. Overall, however, I recommend the book. It makes for an informative and exciting read.