Title: The Danger in Bohemia
Author: H.E. Kollef
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 260 Pages
At a Glance: Very well written, with a good pace, some surprises, and is a definite page turner.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: Will Mracek is forced to flee to Prague when he witnesses his boyfriend, powerful security magnate Jean Claude la Bête, commit murder. On the run, and with help from his cousin John, Will becomes an English teacher named Max Knight and does everything he can to blend in. Meeting Hadrian Walls, however, changes everything.
Max falls in love with the grumpy ex-RAF, now bartender, and Hadrian finds himself doing the same, despite not knowing the secrets of Max’s dangerous past.
But trouble has a way of coming home, and Max and Jean Claude will face each other one last time in a confrontation that sends both of them over the edge….
Review: The Danger in Bohemia is a first time reading author H.E. Kollef for me, and the book was excellent. Ms. Kollef created an absolutely suspenseful, dangerous, adventurous and romantic tale that takes place in Prague. In her Author Bio it’s written, “Her favorite city is Prague and she recommends it to everyone she meets, especially if she thinks they’d enjoy romance, hearty beer and snowy walks along the winding Vltava river.” The Danger in Bohemia brings all this and more. Ms. Kollef’s architectural descriptions and a tour of the many sites in Prague really show the appreciation that she has for this city, and made me take time to look up many of the mentioned places just to see that architecture.
Max Knight is living a different life in Prague with the help of his cousin John. He leaves New York and escapes to Prague to hide from an evil ex who took his real life away from him. Even though John wants to protect Max, Max decides it’s time to stop hiding and try to live. John has his worries about Max, but Krael, John’s partner, believes in and supports Max in his endeavor to try and have a life outside of hiding. Max is a really sweet character, and he’s trying to hide his fears and be brave as he plans to keep everyone he cares about safe from his ex, no matter what.
Hadrian Walls has seen too much misery, being ex-RAF. He struggled with alcoholism but with help from Ivan, he became a better man. He has run across Max more than once and rescues him one night. Max takes a chance and meets with Hadrian, and he takes Max on a wondrous romp through the streets of Prague. Hadrian and Max find they have the love of books in common. Max has a unique talent with books, and Hadrian is a lover of science fiction. And Hadrian may be a little rough around the edges but he and Max make a good match, right along with John and Krael.
And then there’s Vaclav—he turns out to be a little hero.
There aren’t many times I mention the bad guy in reviews, but Jean Claude la Bete is definitely a crazed and creepy character. He’s a powerful businessman who’s into smuggling and murder, with many connections, and no one has been able to touch him. Jean Claude is repulsive and we see his possessive side for Max become dangerous.
As Max tells Hadrian, “Words can take you all kinds of dangerous places,” and Ms. Kollef proves it with this exciting tale. It’s very well written, with a good pace, some surprises, and is a definite page turner. There are nicely developed characters throughout the story, and I loved the play with John’s name and Hadrian Walls, which is an actual Roman monument.
I just want to give a mention to the anthology Random Acts of Kindness from Dreamspinner Press, which has the short story, One Cold Night in Prague, by H.E. Kollef that introduces John, Krael, Ivan, and Vaclav for the first time, and their characterizations continued to develop in The Danger in Bohemia.
You can buy The Danger in Bohemia here: