Tres Navarre returns in this latest novel of the series and this book can easily be summed up as both a coming to grips with the painful past book as well as an opening to a possible future. Roughly six months ago, Tres decided he wasn’t going to be a private investigator anymore. There was a host of factors involved including the fact that Maia was pregnant.

Now, having just married her, Tres takes the eight and a half month pregnant Maia to Rebel Island for their honeymoon. Of course, his brother Garrett, who set it all up for him after learning that Tres hadn’t planned anything, had to come along. Of course, Garret would choose Rebel Island located twenty minutes away from Aransas Pass and a place that Tres had sworn he would never go back to after that fateful summer when he was a child. The old hotel and accompanying lighthouse are owned by, depending on which brother you ask, a childhood friend or a bully. They both still stand and so does the pain of this place deep in Tres’ mind.

Tres ignores his strong and pointed suggestion to take his wife and brother and get back on the ferry and leave while they can. While Tres is there on his honeymoon which will soon be wet as lightening crackles across the Gulf, Langoria believes Tres is there on detective business. Tres has hated the man with a cold rage for over two years now and isn’t about to stop now or heed the fact that the weather is worsening by the minute as it did just recently at his wedding. Langoria gave him good advice and before long Tres will regret not listening to him despite the animosity.

At only a mile long and not very tall, Rebel Island has little on it but a few palmetto trees, the aging hotel and old lighthouse as well as plenty of painful memories. The site was the last land battle of the Civil War and the place is under siege again. Tropical Storm Aidan, which had been falling apart according to forecasters, is actually building back to hurricane status and heading straight north right at them and the surrounding Texas coast. Tres, Maia and Garrett are far from home in San Antonio with nowhere to hide on the island and no way to get off of it. Their only hope is that whatever happens the old hotel can handle the storm. Then they hear a gunshot.

As Tres, a few other guests and small staff discover there has been a murder with one of their number dead by gunshot would to the chest. The murder means that either one of their number is a murderer or there is a killer lurking outside somewhere on the storm sieged island. As the hurricane mounts a full fledged assault on the island, Tres, Maia and Garrett struggle to find out who did it among a cast of characters carrying their own horrific baggage and problems.

Like in any classic clichéd setup of this type, the killing doesn’t stop with one murder despite Tres repeatedly assembling all suspects in one location for safety and interrogation purposes. There are constant reminders of Maia’s high risk pregnancy and pending birth which is pushed so hard that she actually briefly goes into labor at one point due to all of the stress. All the character stereotypes are used in a novel that makes heavy uses of time breaks, pov shifts for everything except the viewpoint of the hurricane, very short chapters and pushed in margins to pad the page count of the book.

Clichéd on every level in terms of story, character development is limited to back story that explains Tres’ childhood pain as well as his anguish over recent events which helps to tie up several loose ends left hanging over the six previous novels of the series. Clearly the weakest of the series by far, this book seems to either be written to satisfy contractual obligations or end what had been to this point a very good series by this Texas author. If this is the end, it is a soggy one and not the pulse pounding ride that readers of the series have long experienced.

Rebel Island

By Rick Riordan

Bantam Books

September 2007

ISBN# 978-0-553-80423-2


339 Pages


Kevin R. Tipple © 2008

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