Just as Raiders of the Lost Ark was Spielberg’s homage to the adventure serials of his youth, Treasure Fever is an homage to Raiders.
This time the adventurer is named Max Finley. His original goal is to find Lexa, a beautiful woman wanted for copying an ancient text in Spain, as part of his job as a spy for the NSA. Lexa along with Friar Pascal, her translator, are searching for the famous lost Incan treasure known as El Dorado. When Max finds Lexa, she quickly convinces Max to join with her in the search. Both Lexa and Max question the other’s loyalty as they travel from Venezuela to Peru to Ecuador.
Most of the trip, Max is being chased by his fellow NSA spy, Dean. You see Max’s boss, Alfred, has sent Dean to bring in both Lexa and Max. Alfred assumes that Max has been turned by the beautiful Lexa—even though Max insists it’s all part of his long-term plan.
Treasure Fever has many exciting scenes. However, the pacing seems off or perhaps the order of some of the scenes is incorrect. It’s exhausting to read a hundred-page chase scene. Judicial use of scene notecards or a program like Scrivener would fix the reader’s feeling of being stuck in one of those dreams where you are constantly running—but you don’t know why.
Another issue is that all of the South American countries are portrayed as the same generic Hispanic third-world slum. What is the point of moving from country to country in a novel without putting a bit of a travelogue in the story? This would also have helped to break up the non-stop chase.
Despite the issues described above, the rousing conclusion with its challenging puzzles and obstacles makes reading Treasure Fever worthwhile. 3 stars.
Thanks to the author and Rogue Phoenix Press for a copy in exchange for my honest review.