Review: Ryder by Nick Pengelley + Giveaway

ryder by nick pengelleyFormat read: ebook provided by NetGalley
Formats available: ebook
Genre: suspense
Series: Ryder, #1
Length: 293 pages
Publisher: Alibi
Date Released: September 30, 2014
Purchasing Info: Author’s Website, Publisher’s Website, Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo

Ayesha Ryder bears the scars of strife in the Middle East. Now her past is catching up to her as she races to unravel a mystery that spans centuries—and threatens to change the course of history.

As Israeli and Palestinian leaders prepare to make a joint announcement at the Tower of London, an influential scholar is tortured and murdered in his well-appointed home in St. John’s Wood. Academic researcher Ayesha Ryder believes the killing is no coincidence. Sir Evelyn Montagu had unearthed shocking revelations about T. E. Lawrence—the famed Lawrence of Arabia. Could Montagu have been targeted because of his discoveries?

Ryder’s search for answers takes her back to her old life in the Middle East and into a lion’s den of killers and traitors. As she draws the attention of agents from both sides of the conflict, including detectives from Scotland Yard and MI5, Ryder stumbles deeper into Lawrence’s secrets, an astounding case of royal blackmail, even the search for the Bible’s lost Ark of the Covenant.

Every step of the way, the endgame grows more terrifying. But when an attack rocks London, the real players show their hand—and Ayesha Ryder is left holding the final piece of the puzzle.

My Review:

This wild ride of an adventure story features a female combination of Lara Croft and Indiana Jones in a story that bears a marvelous resemblance to The Da Vinci Code, only with much better pacing and an edge-of-your-seat thrill-a-minute narrative.

In other words, I loved this book.

Ayesha Ryder isn’t quite Indy or Lara, but there’s certainly some resemblance. Including that Ayesha is chasing one of the same relics that Indy chased. In just as much danger but with slightly less success. At least so far.

160px-T.E.Lawrence,_the_mystery_man_of_ArabiaWhat Ayesha is really chasing is something left behind by T.E. Lawrence (yes, Lawrence of Arabia). Lawrence had documentation for a secret that the English monarchy will still kill to keep quiet. But more important than that, he left behind a secret treaty between Israel and Palestine that would have changed the face of the Middle East. If he hadn’t been murdered and the document suppressed.

In the 21st century, the current Israeli and Palestinian leaders are attempting to recreate Lawrence’s plans, without any firm proof that those plans existed. They both belief in peace so much that they are willing to put their lives on the line for it.

And there are plenty of forces on all sides willing to take those lives to keep them from redrawing the map.

Ayesha, a former refugee from Palestine, a world-reknowned expert on the Middle East and a former member of the Palestinian Fedayeen, finds herself on the run when her ex-lover is tortured and murdered to keep Lawrence’s papers from seeing the light of day.

She is chased through London by both MI5, determined to keep the monarchy’s secrets,  and Shamir, an Israeli organization dedicated to preventing the peace at all costs. While she is on the run, she is also running down the trail of clues that will finally lead to Lawrence’s papers. They may also lead to her death.

And possibly the death of the hope of peace for another generation.

Escape Rating A: While the stakes in the story are incredibly high, the story itself is amazingly fun!

Ayesha is on the hunt for documents that may or may not exist, and on the run for her life at the same time. She is never sure who she can trust, or what the old trail will lead her to.

Part of the fun of the story was following in T.E. Lawrence’s footsteps. Probably everyone has watched the movie at some point, so the history is familiar, and yet the implications of it have impacts echoing to today.

Ayesha is an amazing heroine. While I compared her at the beginning to Lara Croft, that isn’t strictly true, but it is close. Ayesha gets beaten, tortured and shot, but she always gets up and keeps going forward. She starts out the story grief-stricken, but her mind never stops searching for the answers.

Ryder american treasure by nick pengelleyThere are three threads to this tale; Ayesha’s hunt for Lawrence’s paperwork, the conference that is supposed to announce a new peace accord, and the increasingly violent and desperate attempts to stop that announcement. When everything comes together at the end, it’s a serious WOW!

I can’t wait for the next book in this series; Ryder: American Treasure. There is still a LOT of justice to be done.




Nick is kindly giving away a $25.00 gift card to the ebook retailer of your choice as well as a copy of Ryder! To enter, use the Rafflecopter below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This post is part of a TLC book tour. Click on the logo for more reviews.
***FTC Disclaimer: Most books reviewed on this site have been provided free of charge by the publisher, author or publicist. Some books we have purchased with our own money or borrowed from a public library and will be noted as such. Any links to places to purchase books are provided as a convenience, and do not serve as an endorsement by this blog. All reviews are the true and honest opinion of the blogger reviewing the book. The method of acquiring the book does not have a bearing on the content of the review.

4 thoughts on “Review: Ryder by Nick Pengelley + Giveaway

Comments are closed.