Author: Tucker Mayer

Publisher:  CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

ISBN-10 : 1466236183

ISBN-13 : 978-1466236189


There may be more villainous villains that have been written about other than Edmond Santes and his son Phillipe but I don’t think so. The method d’jour of offing anyone unfortunate to be imprisoned in their Colombian fortress is an excruciating death by predatory fish; fish that invade a living body and eat away the internal organs leaving only skeletal remains. Seriously frightening, these really, really bad guys loom large in Tucker Mayer’s thriller, Little Girl Gone.

Set in the US and Colombia, the story revolves around the selling of cocaine, the laundering of money and the actions Santes’ takes to make sure those involved in his distribution network toe the line. US authorities, aware of the Colombian drug rings activities have little success in stopping either the spread of cocaine or the bogus bank accounts setup with the profits.


Pete Zwicker, an ex-Vietnam vet is haunted by the dogs of war and the kill-or-be-killed battles he was part of in the jungles of Vietnam. After returning from three tours of duty in Vietnam, he assaulted and killed a guy who bad-mouthed the war and the men who fought it. Jailed for 15 years he was released early on condition he mentor groups of troubled young men and in so doing, help them turn their lives around.  An anti-hero is ever there was one; Tucker Mayer has created in Pete Zwicker, a likeable but flawed character with the derring-do of Indiana Jones and the my-might-is-right of Jack Reacher. 

Seeking to control the dogs of war that have invaded his psyche, Zwicker lives a quiet life at his Californian orange grove, making a living by playing golf for money. Recommended by a woman whose son he helped, he is asked to find a missing teenage girl. Reluctant at first, he is drawn in by meeting her parents and the conviction that Alli Danderall was abducted from the US and is being held prisoner by Edmond Santes' Colombian drug syndicate.

Pete Zwicker puts together a team of three fellow ex-Vietnam vets. Their mission: do whatever it takes to bring Alli home. Pete has a sneaking feeling that during the assault on the Santes’ home a medic would be really useful. Struck down by a freak act of nature, Pete is helped by medic, Carli Winter. A hot babe with a black belt in karate, Carli’s in trouble; her husband and immediate family have been murdered by a drug gang and now they want her dead as well. Pete puts paid to an attempt on her life and Carli joins his team. 

Making contact with Santes before he leaves the US, Pete gets an invitation to drop by the Santes’ family fortress whenever he visits Colombia. The team arrive in Colombia, the plan: Pete and Carli will go to dinner at Santes’ home and after getting the better of him and his reptilian son will search for and liberate Alli. Meanwhile the rest of the team will set up machine guns etc wherever necessary to knockout the security guards when Pete, Carli and Alli make, what is sure to be, a hasty exit.

It doesn’t involve rocket science to realize that Pete’s plan is a bit short on manpower and local knowledge. This doesn’t spoil what is a rip roaring, hugely exciting ride through the passages and dungeons of the Santes’ prison. Well written in a fast and furious style, neither the reader nor Pete and Carli have time to draw breath as they fight their way through to where Alli has been imprisoned. A big surprise awaits Pete - there are more prisoners than he planned for. What to do? Why get them out, of course. And with the help of his team that’s what happens. The climax, a page-turning game of cat and mouse with Santes and the Colombian Navy, the pace doesn’t let up until the harbor lights of US territory are on the horizon. 

Tucker Mayer has constructed an unusual, intriguing thriller with a plot that constantly surprises. My only complaint: after the rescue is completed there is some unnecessary toing and froing between Pete Zwicker and the US President which slows down the story. A cut to the last chapter which has an exciting plot twist setting up the opening for the next in the Pete Zwicker series would have been more appropriate. That said: Jack and Indie fans take note; Pete Zwicker is the new guy on the block.


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