The Devil’s Elixir

(Orion paperback published as SECOND TIME AROUND)



Khoury writes big, fast-paced thrillers in the fashion of Dan Brown, concentrating on action over characterisation and narrative pace over introspection. It’s in the style department, however, that he’s superior to Brown: he’s a craftsman whose muscular prose carries conviction. FBI agent Sean Reilly and his archaeologist girlfriend Tess Chaykin – previous Khoury protagonists – are up against a murderous drug overlord, whose megalomaniacal plan to synthesise an ancient Mexican drug – the Devil’s Elixir – threatens the world. The novel works thanks to Khoury’s expert handling of plot and detailed knowledge of FBI tradecraft, and Sean and Tess make convincing travelling companions.        –Eric Brown, The Guardian (UK)

 

An unexpected phone call from three thousand miles away.

A voice he hadn’t heard in more than five years.

A desperate cry for help that he couldn’t ignore.

And two small words that would change everything—everything—about his life.

Without a second’s hesitation, Reilly is hurtling across the country to rush to the aid of his old friend, not knowing that he’s getting sucked into a deadly race—against the clock, against a vicious gang of kidnappers, against a brutal Mexican drug kingpin known only as “El Brujo”—the sorcerer—and even against his own government’s authorities—as he struggles to make sense of two divergent trails, one several hundred years old, the other as current as a heartbeat, that lead to a mysterious drug that’s capable of inducing a momentous experience that’s so shocking it could drag humanity down a whirlpool of pain and chaos.

Reilly’s back—and The Devil’s Elixir is his most personal, intense, and gut-wrenching story yet.

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Reviews of The Devil’s Elixir

"Gothically gloomy New Year is, you’ll have gathered, prime time for publishers hoping to propel authors onto the Dan Brown bandwagon. By way of relief, here’s Raymond Khoury jumping off. Surfing the post-Da Vinci marketing wave brought him success while also revealing him as a world-class writer of pure-bred thrillers who urgently needed to dump the cod-mystical “code/conspiracy” tat before joining Connelly, Child, Crais & Co at the top table–a feat this achieves with aplomb."

Jeremy Jehu writing in The Telegraph (UK)

"Lust for a potent, mind-ripping drug brings only trouble and dead bodies in this fast-paced thriller set primarily in Mexico and Southern California … The novel is full of twists, one of them hard to believe—or is it? Reilly faces a formidable opponent in El Brujo, a vicious beast with interesting means of punishing his enemies, but they are not the only hazard Reilly faces. Luckily, he has critical support from Tess despite a couple of big surprises. What with all the poisons, gunfire and wholesale bloodletting, he needs whatever help he can get. Vivid, energetic scenes ensure that Khoury’s tale never falters or bores. It’s the sort of novel that could make a colorful movie, but meanwhile, enjoy the book."

Kirkus Reviews

"Packed with non-stop excitement and enough death, destruction and suspense to thrill any reader."

Bookreporter.com

"Lust for a potent, mind-ripping drug brings only trouble and dead bodies in this fast-paced thriller set primarily in Mexico and Southern California ... Vivid, energetic scenes ensure that Khoury’s tale never falters or bores. It’s the sort of novel that could make a colorful movie, but meanwhile, enjoy the book."

Kirkus Reviews

"A fast-paced thrill-ride… a fine thriller to start the new year with."

Booklist

"Big-time fun."

Library Journal

"An exciting thriller with a paranormal twist."

Publishers Weekly

"Khoury writes big, fast-paced thrillers in the fashion of Dan Brown, concentrating on action over characterisation and narrative pace over introspection. It’s in the style department, however, that he’s superior to Brown: he’s a craftsman whose muscular prose carries conviction. FBI agent Sean Reilly and his archaeologist girlfriend Tess Chaykin – previous Khoury protagonists – are up against a murderous drug overlord, whose megalomaniacal plan to synthesise an ancient Mexican drug – the Devil’s Elixir – threatens the world. The novel works thanks to Khoury’s expert handling of plot and detailed knowledge of FBI tradecraft, and Sean and Tess make convincing travelling companions."

Eric Brown writing in The Guardian (UK)

"Raymond Khoury has created a novel that is packed with non-stop excitement and enough death, destruction and suspense to thrill any reader. The addition of metaphysical elements merely raises the tale to a new level and creates much room for discussion and interpretation that should linger long into the next Sean Reilly/Tess Chaykin thriller."

Bookreporter.com