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A Tourist in the Yucatan [Paperback]

James McNay Brumfield
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 May 2004
A Tourist in the Yucatán is a story that will keep you turning pages well into the night. Mexico's brilliant beaches, historic colonial cities, and ancient Mayan ruins hidden deep in the jungle, provide the back drop for this fast paced adventure/thriller.

Journey to the sun washed resort of Cancun and follow a young American couple, Jack and Josephine Phillips, on an adventure into the jungles of Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. Adventure turns to terror when Josephine disappears and Jack finds himself on the run from mysterious assassins, the Mexican Federales, and possibly even his own government. The Phillips have unwittingly become entangled in the Mexican underworld, a complicated web that stretches from the Carribean coast line of Quintana Roo to the upper reaches of the United States Government. In a land where the line between the law and the outlaw is blurred, can Jack survive long enough to solve the mystery of his wife's disappearance?"

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tres Picos Press (1 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974530905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974530901
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.8 x 1.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 438,165 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"A gritty and absorbing political thriller set in an exotic location." -- Steve Bridger, Publisher/Editor,, Awarded

"A page turning thriller steeped in the mystery of the Mayan Yucatán." -- Bruce Conord — Co-author of the Adventure Guide to the Yucatán, Cancún & Cozumel

From the Author

The story behind the story.
In 1987, my wife and I honeymooned on the Yucatan. We spent two months touring on the cheap. On the bus to Chichen Itza we met a fellow gringo who was traveling solo. He was in his thirties, handsome, spoke fluent Spanish, and was knowledgeable about both ancient and modern Mexico. We hit it off with this man and the three of us spent two weeks touring the Yucatan outback together. He convinced us to go places we never would have ventured to on our own and opened up a new world to us. At the end of our time together we said our good byes with hopes that we could get together in the future. Once back home, my wife wrote our new friend a number of times but he never responded. This got me to wondering who this fellow was. As I reflected back on our trip, I recalled some strange things about the man. For example, he promised to pay for a car rental if I would put it on my credit card. He did pay me in cash, but I thought it was odd he did not have a credit card, or maybe he did not want the car in his name. This got the wheels of my imagination turning, and was the genesis of "A Tourist in the Yucatan."

The settings in the book are real places. I also have a strong interest in the ancient Mayans, and while not an expert, I did try to reflect current scientific knowledge.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
A Tourist in the Yucatan is a book that was recommended to me by one of my Amazon Friends, and I am delighted that I followed up on the suggestion. This book has a much more complex plot than most thrillers that kept me wondering about the full dimensions of who did what to whom and when until 2/3s of the book was done. The plot is spiced up by many realistic tourist and archeological details of Yucatan that provided a more than typically interesting context for the story. My only disappointment was that the book didn't develop the characters beyond the minimum. In part that's because there were so many of them, but the number of characters also made the plot more interesting. Although the book shows some signs of being self-published (such as typos), I thought that the overall quality is better than most best-selling thrillers I have read from major publishers.
The opening of the story promises lots of action as a drug buy is set up on a ferry. But soon there are unexpected complications. Next, we find ourselves meeting two young American tourists, Jack and Jo Phillips, who are in Yucatan to work on their marriage. They are looking forward to meeting an old friend who is an archeologist as well as seeing many of the main Mayan sites. A chance meeting with a stranger helps them enjoy their visit more. As they move peacefully forward, their lives are about to be shattered in unimaginable ways. Will they have the courage and perseverance to prevail?
As you read the story, I'm sure you will be impressed that the book is filled with intriguing subplots. There are enough ideas in this book to fill four thriller volumes.
I'm sure you will never look at travel in a foreign country in the same way after enjoying A Tourist in the Yucatan.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping beach read 31 May 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I had never heard of this author or book until a couple of weeks ago. I was actually reading some reviews on another book on amazon and one of them said "if you enjoyed this you will love A Tourist in the Yucatan" so I decided to order the book just in time for my hols.

I'm not normally one for adventure / Indiana Jones type thrillers yet I couldnt put this book down. There is never a dull moment and I thouroughly enjoyed it; I was gripped from the first chapter. The characters were believable and the plot fast paced and there are more than a few twists and turns to keep you turning those pages well into the night.

I hope you enjoy.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Like a bad movie 10 Aug 2007
Im sorry but how on earth do people rate this book so highly?

If this was a movie it would go straight to video, totally predicatable and I couldnt even be bothered to finish it.

Please dont waste your money on this book, by all means borrow it from someone dumb enough to spend money on it but dont waste your own hard earned cash on this pile of nonsense.
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1.0 out of 5 stars badly written nonsense 28 Nov 2008
By Tweedy
While it is difficult to admire any of the writing skills here in what is a flat and poorly delivered bit of nonsense - you have to admire the viral publicity. Lots of planted references in reviews of other books "if you loved this book by Lee Child, then you should try the brilliant Tourist in the"...type of thing).
But this is best avoided at all costs, it is very poor indeed.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Very poor 27 April 2008
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Poorly written novel subject to a clever viral campaign. The reality is a slow, badly constructed book with paper thin characterisation. Challenging to get through and best avoided.
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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A beach read - at best. 16 Jan 2006
If you enjoyed The Da Vinci Code then this one is ok, however I found each book very irritating and couldn't finish either; both are cliched, corny and contrived. I had read an earlier review that placed this book in the same genre as the writing of Cormac McCarthy, so my expectations were high but I was sadly let down.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different but entertaining 30 Aug 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
A couple holidaying in Mexico's Yucatan area gets indirectly caught up in the Mexican/American drug trade and a host of nasty things happen, including the disappearance of the wife. Also in the mix we have good and bad cops/agents in both countries, as well as high-level political influences.

But we also have references to Mayan culture and archaeological finds in a seemingly rich jungle and coastline setting. I think it was this twist which kept a lot of the interest up for me. Cops and robbers stories abound but few use such a novel backdrop.

Brumfield is not a literary giant and he didn't do enough, in my view, to develop his characters. He could also have paid more attention to proof-reading. (I should also say that small-print versions with long paragraphs can be a real challenge to readers!)

Nonetheless, he did write a book with an engaging plot, in a very interesting setting, which is different from the norm and not too over the top. 9/10
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appalling! 18 Nov 2006
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is one of the worst written books I've ever read. It makes Jeffrey Archer and Dan Brown look like Marcel Proust or Shakespeare. Avoid unless you enjoy cliched drivel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A holiday must
Billiant, I bought this paperback for my holidays,a great read. could not put it down.
Published on 9 Jan 2010 by Jan
4.0 out of 5 stars Perfect for a hammock on the Riviera Maya
Alright so this isn't going to win any literary awards but I read this in a hammock on Half Moon Bay and found it perfect for filling a few hours in the middle of the day when it's... Read more
Published on 10 Oct 2009 by Wreckless Eric
1.0 out of 5 stars What a loong BORING read this was.
Notice the emphasis on the word BORING? That's because from the first page on I had to force myself to read Mr. Brumfield's work. The synopsis, the reviews and Mr. Read more
Published on 30 Aug 2008 by Forum Guy
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good
I read this on holiday and if it hadn't been for the kids I would have read it in one sitting.
It is a very easy read and highly recommended. Read more
Published on 28 Aug 2008 by S.P.
5.0 out of 5 stars Mystery, thrills, and adventure in the Mexican Jungels!
I wrote a review of this book ages ago but see it has somehow vanished? Since I am constantly recommending this book I figured I better replace my review. Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2008 by Bill Pullman
4.0 out of 5 stars Gritty story in an exotic location
I got this book due to a recommendation I saw in a review on travel books to Mexico - we were going to Mexico on holiday to some of the locations in the book. Read more
Published on 15 Jan 2008 by supagirl
5.0 out of 5 stars Very entertaining book to read
I really enjoyed reading this book and found it pretty well written with lots of exciment mixed into the plot. Read more
Published on 12 Dec 2007 by Lars
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Beach Reading for Your Trip to the Riviera Maya,
I'm the author of a travel guidebook for the Riviera Maya and I listed this book as one of the top 10 books to read on the beach. Read more
Published on 23 Aug 2007 by J.E. Hinsdale "Adventurer"
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