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Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite
Geza Tatrallyay has woven his latest novel, Rainbow Vintner, into a factual, historical background. Morgan Kenworthy, a Berkeley student studying abroad and a guest of the de Carduzac family, owners of a magnificent chateau in St. Émilion, uncovers a coup to bring down the French government. The initial investigation, led by General Tolbert, a friend of Joseph de Carduzac, points to jihadists. However, Morgan finds clues that Joseph and the general may have been involved in the "Rainbow Warrior" fiasco in 1985 and committed other heinous acts when both served in the intelligence service. As bombings, murders and mayhem bring France to its knees, Morgan and her lover, Alex, come under suspicion by Tolbert. Morgan tries to escape via Spain to the U.S. but is thwarted, while Alex is captured by Tolbert’s thugs and badly beaten. The two must now rely on their wits and whoever they can trust in order to survive.
One thing you can always count on with author Geza Tatrallyay is that his stories are well researched. In Rainbow Vintner, his in-depth knowledge of various jihadist groups, France, its police and intelligence procedures, its former colonies, its politics as well as historical events all unite to make an otherwise quite incredible story seem realistic. In the first five chapters, Tatrallyay lures the reader into a false sense of security as he benignly explores each character in the dramatis personae. Then, just as you settle into a quiet, relaxing read, there’s a change of pace so dramatic that it rattles the pages and spills your coffee on the floor: a catastrophic explosion, the assassination of a prominent figure, then it’s off to the races. From there on, the book is a page turner with sufficient intrigue to keep you guessing how it is all going to end. All of this in a well-edited package! It would be a crime if Rainbow Vintner doesn’t become a bestseller.