The Medinandi License
by Randall Reneau

"Not a problem. Now let's get to Timbuktu, rescue Gordon and shoot that son of a bitch, Zeid."

This is the latest chronicle of Reneau’s rugged geologist, Trace Brandon, who seems to attract trouble like lawyers attract insults. And speaking of attorneys, his own—who happens to be his best friend, legal adviser, and shooting buddy—is once again along for the ride in this entertaining ode to action, adventure, and adrenalin.

The country of Mali on the continent of Africa houses the author’s tableau of turbulence. Its blazing temperatures, warring factions, and mysterious inhabitants saturate the storyline with both color and spice. Plus his vivid descriptions of arid landscapes, exotic cities, and opulent hotels, lend a cinematic element to a swiftly moving plot.

A friend of Brandon’s talks him into evaluating a gold mine in West Africa. However, the friend neglects to mention that an ex-mafia enforcer is financing the project, and fierce, nomadic Tuareg tribes plus at least one Al Qaeda splinter group surround the mine’s location. Before he knows it, Brandon is neck deep in dangerous deals with an arms merchant. He's ducking bullets in terrorist firefights. He's having an unexpected romantic interlude amid an attempted coup. He's even involved in a kidnapping rescue mission that turns deadly.

Reneau manages to include just enough technical mining information to increase credibility without decreasing interest. His banter between friends and lovers is light, breezy, and filled with the requisite amount of testosterone these sorts of tales require. In the best tradition of high adventures, the climax is appropriately exciting. Readers will also likely be left with the distinct impression that we haven’t seen or heard the last of this globe-trotting geologist.

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