“MAPPING THE GLADES,”
BY DAVID BURTON
PUBLICATION: JULY 8, 2016
Synopsis: A stolen million.
A gangster who wants it back.
A reclusive writer who doesn’t give a damn.
Mapping the Glades is a fast-paced thriller set in the Everglades. An Ex-DEA agent, now a successful writer, is forced to go after a desperate California gangster.
Ex-DEA agent, Harrison Park, now a successful writer who has lived in virtual seclusion on the edge of the Everglades for three years since the suspicious death of his wife. Trouble arrives with his step-son, Pauly, who Harrison believes was involved in his wife’s death. With Pauly is his girlfriend, Tracy, who has stolen money from a California gangster, Raul Geoshay.
As Harrison reluctantly allows himself to be drawn in to protect Pauly and Tracy from Geoshay, he is helped by Carmen, an attractive Cuban woman whose family he helped rescue years ago. When Carmen’s beautiful younger sister is attacked, and her boyfriend murdered, the search for Geoshay becomes personal.
As Geoshay’s actions and Harrison’s search for him become more intense, Harrison learns the awful secret of his wife’s family and how she really died. He and Carmen grow closer. In the final confrontation with Geoshay in the Everglades he begins to see her as an attractive, strong woman who can help him live a full life again.
First, let me begin by apologizing about how incredibly behind I am on reading and reviews! The holidays and an extra holiday job have completely messed up my schedule! Today I finally had some free time to sit down and read “Mapping the Glades,” by David Burton. Once I started reading it, I did not stop until I was finished.
This story begins with Tracy stealing a briefcase of money from a bad dude, Raul Geoshay, that deals in crime and stolen cars. Tracy rushes home to her boyfriend Pauly confessing about her theft and informing him to pack. Desperate for a place to hide out, they head to the Florida Everglades to the home of Pauly’s stepdad, Harrison Park, a writer who has basically led a life of seclusion since his wife died 3 years earlier. As expected, not long after Pauly and Tracy arrive at Harrison’s house, complete hell busts loose with Raul’s people trying to track down the money and an important black book that Tracy had stolen. From there on, it’s one killing, raping and shooting after another as the story progresses with Raul trying to reclaim his money and everyone else trying to outsmart and kill Raul.
Again, I was not able to put this book down until I finished it, and was literally sucked in after the first page. However, there are A LOT of characters and A LOT of subplots in this novel. This is one of those times where I’m compelled to pull out the bullet points regarding characters…
- Harrison Park: writer, ex-DEA agent, Pauly’s stepdad, was married to Pauley’s mom, Lara
- Pauley: complete map geek who had finally gotten his dream job in L.A. when his call-girl girlfriend steals millions and a “little black book” from a bad guy
- Tracy: Pauley’s girlfriend that stole from Raul Geoshay, thus starting all of this mess in the first place
- Teddy: beautiful, 17-year-old Cuban girl that is Harrison’s part time housekeeper
- Carmen: Teddy’s older sister that is in love with Harrison
- Carlos: Teddy and Carmen’s Dad, friends with Harrison
- Simone: mysterious girl that Harrison meets, hits it off with her, she has secrets
- Sylvia: Pauly’s aunt, doesn’t get along with Harrison, knows what “really” happened regarding Lara’s death, also has secrets
- Mullet, etc: local law enforcement that is the first of several to get injured/killed/maimed in some way
There are several other characters in the novel, but you get the basic idea of the key players. Regarding the numerous subplots, in my opinion, they all worked well with the overall story, without anything standing out as irrelevant or ridiculous in any way, however, there were times where I was wondering how many more people were going to be in this story and how were they going to be involved. Nevertheless, I found Burton’s writing perfectly descriptive without going into too much detail, and was completely engrossed in the plot being surprised several times thinking I had reached the climax and conclusion, when actually, I had not.
Positives are the characters of Harrison and Carmen and the creativity of the setting and the plot. There was a perfect amount of suspense and surprises that kept me guessing the entire time. And there are definitely some shocking and somewhat troubling revelations as the novel progresses, most of which I NEVER saw coming. Unfortunately, I do have some negative feedback and that is regarding the lack of realism. I felt like people were being shot up, stabbed, etc. then home in their beds an hour later only to end up injured again before the end of the night. Perhaps it was the lack of clarity regarding days and times, but I kept wondering what emergency room in the world could patch up gunshot wounds quickly enough so that someone could go out and be shot or stabbed again before bedtime. I know that our ERs here will leave you waiting a few hours even if you’re bleeding from the eyes so that part was a stretch for me. However, I am not familiar with the area in which the novel was set, so maybe there isn’t a lot of ER traffic there?
For all of you mystery/suspense/thriller fans out there, I suggest getting a copy of “Mapping the Glades.” It was different and unique, but still embodied the great qualities of this genre of writing. Despite the few little issues I had with the novel, remember that I was completely sucked in and absolutely unable to put this down until I finished!
Learn more about David Burton and his other novels by visiting his web page.
Purchase “Mapping the Glades” on Amazon.
*Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.