Beginning November 12th, you will be seeing the publication of eBooks dubbed “bibliomysteries” by MysteriousPress.com. These will consist of works of shorter mystery fiction by a number of the genre’s most venerable and enduring practitioners. The first is AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE by Jeffrey Deaver. While somewhat of a different work for him topically, it contains the trademark twists and turns we have come to expect from Deaver, as well as sharp and memorable characterization of both the protagonists and antagonists.
"While AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE is a shorter work, it has the topical heft and literary weight of a novel. Deaver’s countless fans will consider this a must-have, while those looking for something different will find much to love here as well."
AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE features an enigmatic businessman whose given name is Alonso María Carillo, but who is better known as “Cuchillo,” which translates to “The Knife.” P.Z. Evans and Alejo “Al” Diaz are the team tasked by a joint United States and Mexico task force to conduct an off-the-books operation with maximum deniability. Their mission is to take Cuchillo out; rumored to be a notorious drug lord, an informed source has reported that Cuchillo is about to commit a terrorist act against a group of tourists in Mexico.
Evans and Diaz have a problem, to say the least, given that Cuchillo is heavily guarded and almost impossible to reach. He has but one weakness: his love of rare books. Evans and Diaz exploit that weakness, enabling Diaz to infiltrate Cuchillo’s compound as the representative of a rare book dealer. However, once Diaz is inside, he has second thoughts. He wonders if Cuchillo is really a drug lord, or merely a misunderstood businessman who is the victim of rumor and innuendo. Can a man who loves books the way that Cuchillo seems to really be as evil as he is presented to be? Or is their intelligence all wrong? The lives of many innocents will rest on the decision that Diaz and Evans ultimately make.
While AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE is a shorter work, it has the topical heft and literary weight of a novel. Deaver’s countless fans will consider this a must-have, while those looking for something different will find much to love here as well. Additionally, Evans and Diaz are interesting enough in their own right that they could easily carry a future novel; hopefully we will see them again. All things considered, AN ACCEPTABLE SACRIFICE is a worthy launch for this fine new presentation of topically-related stories by varied authors.
Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on November 16, 2012