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13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy

By Carine Nadel

13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy  by L. A. Starks is billed as a thriller with ties to the oil industry. The author is definitely taking her chance at combining her knowledge as an insider in both corporate offices and in the oil industry in general to put out a plot that teaches us just as much about the ins and outs of refineries as it does to intrigue us with several different problems within the life of her lead character Lynn Dayton.

Starks has obviously been a keen observer since graduating magna cum laude from Tulane University with a degree in chemical engineering.

13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy  has us learning about executive Lynn Dayton and her challenges in fixing up a troubled refinery in Texas that her company purchased on her say so. Before her "due date" of turning the losing business around happens, a terrible accident occurs causing the horribly painful and sad deaths of several of her team.

Or is it an accident? Lynn begins to deal with chemical leaks, murders, disloyal employees and the coming hurricane season. Besides that, her sister Ceil is drawn into the growing corruption by a French dignitary, Robert Guillard-who manipulates the situation with Ceil to get to Lynn.

Obviously, Guillard underestimates his prey. However, not before several more people lose their lives, Lynn and her closest co-worker Preston Li have their lives jeopardized twice and more refinery machinery is damaged.  

With all of her professional world crumbling around her, Lynn is feeling the pressure and then some when the health of her father escalates, her relationship with handsome widower and single dad Cy comes to a stalemate and learning of how her career has hurt her sister.

Who should Lynn trust? Who should she press issues on?

Starks first novel about this plot to drive gasoline prices higher and the executive who threatens to blow the whistle seems to be coming closer to reality and current events that any of us would like to realize. And that, according to the author, is no accident. She admits that her industry experience and paying close attention to the news helped her write her book.

"With the news about oil prices and production, from the attempted terrorism at Abqaiq to the cost of flying cross-country to the price of unleaded at the corner gas station, this book mirrors the news every day. Obviously, I consider my education, experience and research to be key elements in the credibility of 13 Days: The Pythagoras Conspiracy"

While some might find all the details given a tad too much information for anyone just wanting to read a thriller for sheer entertainment-it is the attention to these details that keep you interested in finding out just how Lynn Dayton figures out who is her enemy and how to deal with them and all the problems they have wreaked on hers and so many others lives.

According to Starks, this is the first book in a new mystery series. Possibly she has more problems for Ms. Lynn Dayton to uncover and provide trouble-shooting for, hopefully in the next book, it won't interfere with her love life as much as this first edition did!

Carine Nadel is a contributing writer for Stop by to read Carine's What's Cooking Column on our home page.

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