Thank you to the PR firm, Finn Partners for providing Gregory Widen’s novel, Blood Makes Noise. It really was a great read! Gregory Widen is the scriptwriter known for Highlander, Backdraft and The Prophecy. This is his first novel. It’s splendid.
The description as pitched to us: This international thriller explores the fascinating true story of the disappearance of Eva “Evita” Peron, Argentine First Lady, in the 1950s. Gregory transforms this real-life mystery into a gripping piece of literary fiction with historical elements woven throughout.
In 1955, the corpse of Eva Peron vanished from a Buenos Aires vault. With it went a key to a bank box filled with gold. Only one man knows where the body is hidden: disgraced former CIA agent, Michael Suslov, a witness to the night Evita’s body disappeared. Sixteen years later, he agrees to retrieve the body, hoping the mission will grant him absolution for the terrible sins of his past. But, a pair of rogue CIA agents intervene, wanting Evita’s treasure for themselves. What began as a recovery mission becomes a race for justice and the fight of Michael’s life.
I’ll admit that my knowledge of Eva Peron is fairly limited to knowing she was a great and powerful icon to the Argentine people and of course, this song:
She belongs to the people.
From the first day they saw her. They lifted her and changed her and made her theirs. They never cared who she really was. They don’t now. Men have fought and died for her, and who she really was doesn’t matter at all.
Widen has wonderfully mingled historical elements surrounding Evita and the political climate in Argentina with this fabulous piece of fiction, all written in superb prose. It’s fast-paced, it’s gripping, albeit a tad long, but I was continuously drawn back in to the pages to find out what would happen with Eva Peron’s body, to Michael Suslov and to the fortune she left behind, locked away with only one key which she holds. We read of how Evita certainly overshadowed her husband, President Juan Peron, and Widen lovingly details her amazing character and all that she meant to the Argentine people.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised at how much I truly enjoyed reading this. From the very first pages I was hooked. Widen has managed to provide Evita a mythical and mystical-like quality complete with casting a curse upon all of those charged with hiding her body. No one suffers more from this curse than our main character, Michael Suslov.
There are three people plus Evita that make up the heart of this thrill ride: Michael, Alejandro and the man that connects them all, Hector. Michael is the newest and youngest member of the CIA office in Argentina. He has a troubled past that includes Argentine upbringing. This, he hides from all. The office in Argentina is actually employed by former FBI agents that have not embraced their new role within this newly created and named CIA. Therefore Michael is treated as an outsider, with suspicion and disdain by his co-workers. Only one man befriends and trusts in Michael. That would be Hector. The man that has significant ties to the president, former presidents, government and military personnel. Hector assigns a task so daring and crazy to Michael, but one he willingly accepts as it is sure to cement his departure from Argentina forever. Michael is one of only three people that know where the body of Evita is hidden. He must remove her from Argentina to ensure and secure her safety.
Following this, we meet Alejandro, a broken, damaged, burned man that owes everything he is to Evita. His obsessive love for her drives him “I only want to return Evita to those that love Her. I serve only Her.” Years following abuse and torture under the supervision of Hector, Alejandro is suspected to have died. However, he has obtained the documents that link Michael to Evita. He begins his international hunt to track down Michael sixteen years after he has removed Evita from Argentina.
It is here where Blood Makes Noise turns in to an excellent game of chase, cat and mouse, taking us out of Argentina and in to America, to Italy, France and Spain and some very thrilling edge-of-your-seat suspense as to what will happen to Evita, Michael, and even Alejandro and Hector. For Michael, Alejandro and Hector it is only about Her. Only Her. But for the two CIA “spooks” from Michael’s past, it’s only about her money. I won’t spill the beans on anything that happens here, only just the strong recommendation to pick this one up. You really will enjoy it! 4 stars – it’s excellent.