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Tears of the Jaguar

Tears of the Jaguar [Kindle Edition]

A.J. Hartley
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Six months ago, museum curator Deborah Miller had never heard of Ek Balam, an obscure Mayan archaeological site known for its carved figures. Now here she is, having traded Atlanta’s urban jungle for a remote village in Mexico’s Yucatan, tasked with overseeing Ek Balam’s excavation. But when a sudden rainstorm causes a partial collapse at the site, an unexpected treasure is unearthed: a collection of rough-cut rubies hidden from the world for hundreds of years—and very out-of-place in the Yucatan. It is a find of immeasurable value, one that Deborah vows to protect—and yet is powerless to prevent from being stolen soon after its discovery. Determined to retrieve the stones, she sets out to trace their complex history across four centuries and two continents, from Mexico to northern England where the jewels once played a harrowing role in the Lancashire witch trials of 1612. But Deborah is not the only one searching for the stones; close on her heels are archaeologists, occultists, and one very determined arms dealer, all of whom will stop at nothing, not even murder, to claim the prize for themselves.

About the Author

A. J. Hartley is a native of Lancashire, England, and was born near the town where the witch trials featured in Tears of the Jaguar occurred four hundred years ago. He lived in Japan for several years and traveled extensively throughout southern and eastern Asia before moving to the United States for graduate school. After earning his Ph.D. from Boston University, he taught college-level Shakespeare in Georgia and North Carolina. Today he works as a dramaturg, director, theater historian, and theorist in Renaissance drama at UNC-Charlotte, where he holds the Robinson Chair of Shakespeare Studies. He has written fiction for twenty years and is the author of Macbeth, a Novel with David Hewson, Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact, Act of Will, Will Power, The Mask of Atreus, On the Fifth Day, and What Time Devours.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 750 KB
  • Print Length: 465 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (4 Sep 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007CJUA84
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #23,013 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Though I live in the USA now (where all my books were first published), I was born and grew up in Lancashire. After attending Manchester University I left the UK to work in Japan, and eventually wound up in graduate school in Boston. I now live in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I teach Shakespeare at university there.

I've written long fiction all my life, and started publishing novels (mainly with Penguin) in 2005. I write for kids and adults, and (as you'll see if you poke around) in various genres. Can't seem to limit myself to one kind of story :)

I'm married with a son, and various animals, one of which--the dog--promises to be the size of a horse soon. I make beer and, occasionally furniture. I used to paint (not especially well) and play guitar and piano (likewise) but I struggle to find the time these days.

I hope you like my stuff. Drop me a line through my main website, or through facebook or twitter. I'm easy to find.



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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Archaeological Adventure 26 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Though basically an archaeological thriller embracing a significant historical find, a grave robbery and actions to retrieve stolen items there are numerous interconnected threads to `Tears of the Jaguar', plus there are numerous characters. Everything and everyone are essential to the novel's intriguing and intricate plot. Author A J Hartley skilfully interweaves discovery of artefacts in Mexico, investigation into witchcraft in Lancashire and mystery surrounding Royal jewellery from past to present times, and he combines these into a logically reasoned plot. In spite of its complexity the novel is well structured via short chapters for various elements running in tandem, yet with sufficient information to keep readers on track, and with injection of tension and suspense to keep the outcome hidden.

The main protagonist is Deborah Miller, a museum curator drafted as director for an archaeological investigation on an obscure Mayan site. She is somewhat out of her depth and is pitched into a tangle of killings involving not only the team of archaeological specialists but the CIA, MI5 and a Serbian arms dealer. From a diffident start in awe of her expert colleagues Deborah proves to be a competent sleuth and to be physically capable of tackling difficulties. Often when multiple murders occur they become implausible but A J Hartley makes these convincing and his various threads are firmly anchored to the main storyline. He builds a wonderful sense of being and he introduces real historical figures and facts to reinforce and make credible his fictional characters, and even when he relies on what may appear as fantasy he manages to explain this as genuine. The result is an imaginative and well crafted adventure, and in addition to being a roller-coaster read it is developed to provide cultural and historical insights. All this endorses `Tears of the Jaguar' as 5-star rating.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars MUCH HERE TO INTRIGUE AND EXCITE 3 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Excitement at discoveries in an excavated Mayan tomb - especially as certain items should not be there. Startling revelations will follow, at the cost of lives....

This being my only encounter with Mayan remains, I cannot compare with other such novels - but do admit to being gripped throughout. Holding everything together is the unlikeliest of heroines: curator Deborah Miller - six foot two, angular, awkward and, as many will learn, not to be underestimated.

The telling is good, characters well drawn, events veering off in unexpected directions. Admittedly parts are far-fetched. Not the witches, though - those details historically documented. CIA involvement rather stretches credibility, but not as much as that overblown, preposterous, blood-splattered finale (it immensely enjoyable nonetheless).

At the end of it all, two images may linger - they representing the core of the book. One is set four hundred years ago, a tragic figure trying desperately to atone; the other set in the present. I found both very moving.

Recommended to those seeking entertaining escapism. (So what if, occasionally, it goes over the top!)
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly boring 5 May 2013
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
An archaeological mystery thriller, Tears of the Jaguar should have kept me entertained into the wee small hours. Instead the tears were all down to sheer boredom.

The concept was good, but whilst a few of the characters were unlikeable, the rest were just plain bland. The main character was boarding on wet and whiny from the first few pages and didn't get any better as the book wore on.

Pacing was quite an issue too, the story trundled along at snails pace. I have to admit after the first 18 chapters (about 100 pages) I'd lost the will to care and ended up skipping large chunks. But even then the bits I'd missed did nothing to spark my interest and the pacing never seemed to improve any.

If you're a fan of the author you might like it, but if you're looking for a good story to get absorbed by, I'd look elsewhere.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Tears of the jaguar 24 Jan 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Not the sort of book I would normally read but I found it just about ok a little bit on the boring side would not recommend this book for all those of you who like being totally enthralled.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fast Moving Treasure Hunt 30 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There is little quite so appealing as a well plotted treasure hunt. Deborah Miller, a museum curator is asked to lead a dig at Yucatan, Mexico which is surprising given her lack of field archaeological experience. Her group quickly make an important find, which excites quite a lot of attention. This soon develops into a treasure hunt with a far more important goal.

Mayhem and murder visit the dig at an early stage in the book. From that point clues are being researched and followed on both sides of the Atlantic as the search gets into its stride. Generally this is a well paced book, although I thought there was a certain loss of momentum when it shifted to England. However, things quickly got moving again.

The treasure hunt draws in a number of interested parties. Both the CIA and MI5 have a separate and distinct agenda and each have representatives on the ground. Additionally there is underworld involvement as well as another party whose motives are clearly sinister, but remain unknown until right at the end of the book. The various clues seem to slot, rather over conveniently into place and the disparate interested parties seem to manage to largely keep up with the action. The archaeological group themselves have divided and often unclear loyalties and some of them seem to behave in irrational and illogical ways. I thought this particularly applied to Alice, a young student. If all this seems unlikely, then I would confirm that it is. However, best to get on board and suspend disbelief as it is actually quite a good tale.

The climax of this story is complicated as it involves all the interested parties who collide in a bloody crescendo. This could well have deteriorated into a confusing farce, but to his credit, the author does manage to keep it all together and flowing and comprehensible. Overall I found this quite an enjoyable read.
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