Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Missing Person and a Fabulous Hotel in Bolivia

Jacob Smalls, a freelance travel writer, is asked by his former girlfriend to travel to Bolivia to help find a missing person. She promises him a complementary stay at the fabulous new Hotel Metamoros as an inducement. Jacob loves the freebees his job entails, particularly the five star hotels and comped meals. He also loves his ex-girlfriend and hopes the trip might get them back together.

The missing person, Hilary Pearson, was one of his first editors. She encouraged him, and he has good memories of her. If she's alive, he'd like to rescue her. The trip starts well until Jacob notices Kenny on the same plane. Kenny was a gofer in Hilary's office. Although it's implausible, he thinks he was her boyfriend. He's inept and inserting himself into Jacob's trip doesn't bode well for recovering Hilary alive.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The author clearly knows about travel writers. It's one of the most interesting parts of the book. Likewise he's excellent at conveying the setting. I enjoyed his descriptions of Bolivia. However, the characters are not likable. Jacob is wrapped up in himself. He acts self-assured, but it seems to be a pose. Kenny is an inept side-kick, but not an amusing one. The women are bitchy and vindictive.

The book starts slowly with Jacob getting ready to go to Bolivia. He does some detecting, but the book centers on getting ready to go traveling. The second half of the book picks up. Now he's in Bolivia and is faced with political rivalries as well as problems with hotel personnel, and his girlfriend.

If you like scenes from other countries, you'll enjoy this book, but the mystery and characters could be better.

I reviewed this book for Net Galley.