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Thanks to Ken Sawilchik for taking the time to write this review for Caribbean Knights. Click the logo above to take you to the Windy City Website.
Caribbean Knights is the fourth installment in the UrbanKnights series of thrillers by James H. Roby III. In this book, the Detroit born and raised writer gets out of the city and onto a cruise ship with some exotic ports of call for an adventure that has as many twists and turns as a Jet Skier out for an afternoon of fun. At the heart of the thriller is a character with as many curves as the plot. The mysterious, seductive Nellie drives the story through its numerous twists and action sequences. She first appears as an innocent young merchant who rescues series hero Jordan Noble from a harrowing situation and then provides him with some equipment that is vital for the completion of an earlier mission. However, when she pops up on the cruise ship without warning, the questions start running through the reader’s mind.
Who is she? Is she as innocuous as she appears? How did she get on the ship? Did someone send her there to use her overt sexuality to distract Jordan and his crew? These questions keep coming right until the last moment, as the outcome is never clear until it is right in front of you. Then, just when you think you have it, it changes again.
The seclusion of a cruise ship adds to the mystery. With a finite set of possibilities, it is difficult to identify just who the villains might be. It is this part of the story that is never fully flushed out. There is plenty of action on board the massive vessel and there are thousands of passengers as possible culprits, but just who is responsible for the violence that occurs at sea is never revealed. Perhaps, Roby has a fifth installment in the works that picks up where this one leaves off.
The story also falls short in providing the backstory necessary to fully satisfy the reader. If you have not read the earlier works, you will not completely understand the background and skills of the lead character, Jordan Noble. A better knowledge of his skill set and past experiences would have enhanced the experience. Jordan's team members seem superfluous and could have contributed more to the action. They appear weak in comparison to Jordan and raise the question of why he would have brought them in on such a dangerous mission. Again, this is where awareness of the previous escapades may have delivered some insight.
There is also insufficient knowledge provided on the venom of the international crime organization, Hammer, who serves as the antagonist throughout the series. Having a better understanding of the capabilities and wickedness of this group would have added to the tension, although the climax provides plenty of it.
Nonetheless, the author packs the novella with enough intrigue, action, and sex appeal to satisfy even the most pessimistic of readers. Add in a bit of romance and you have a cocktail suitable for the glamorous locations that this piece will take you. If you love a story that keeps you guessing and then guessing some more, this is definitely for you.