Alex Archer, False Horizon

Posted October 20, 2011 by Kathy Davie in

False Horizon (Rogue Angel, #29)False Horizon by Alex Archer
Series: Rogue Angel, 29
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Twenty-ninth in the Rogue Angel urban fantasy series revolving around an archeologist who “inherited” the broadsword of Joan of Arc.

The Story
A mysterious stranger shows up in Katmandu, Nepal to hire Tuk, a local man with a reputation for stellar stealth. He’s willing to pay Tuk well above the usual to shadow Annja and ensure her safety. A skill Tuk displays when he sneaks into Tsing’s penthouse and almost encounters Hsu Xiao when Annja and Mike are forced to meet with Tsing.

Previously, Annja has met up with fellow archeologist and friend, Mike Tingley, in Katmandu to search for Shangri-La. Only, it seems that Mike borrowed $50 grand from a local mobster, Tsing, to buy the “necessary” map. Now, Tsing is changing the rules of the loan.

To survive, Annja and Mike must find Shangri-La, a venture close to Mike’s heart; it seems that Tuk also might find his heart’s desire on this trip as well.

The Characters
Annja Creed is an orphan and an archeologist with a Fate. After discovering the pieces of Joan of Arc’s sword, her touch reassembled those pieces and now the broadsword of Joan of Arc is always with Annja. It seems that Fate wants Annja to right wrongs.

Professor Mike Tingley is head of the Ancient Religions department at Charlesgate University. An old friend of Annja’s, he’s asked her to join him on a search for Shangri-La, an obsession for Mike since he was a kid.

Tuk is an orphan with no memory of his parents; he has survived by not being seen. His services had been in high demand by various intelligence agencies until using electronic gadgets became too easy at which point Tuk is reduced to accepting work from drug smugglers and criminals. Garin is quite mysterious in this one. He shows up long enough to hire Tuk to keep an eye on Annja, keep her safe. No Roux.

The bad guys include Tsing and his henchmen and Guge, Vanya, and her pet assassin, Hsu Xiao.

My Take
It’s a story of coincidence and conflict with more subterfuge than usual with Chinese and American spies all over the place in a hide-and-seek for an illegal project even as the overthrow of the Chinese government is plotted.

Annja almost found out about her family background but the price demanded was too high. Garin continues to intrigue as he blows hot and cold.

The Cover
Anna is ready to swing into action with her broadsword out, the mountains and a burning plane in the background. The title is hint enough as she and Mike are looking for James Hilton’s Lost Horizon.

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