Fast Track to Glory: An International Action Adventure Thriller, by Tomasz Chrusciel, is a taut adventure that doesn’t allow the reader much time to breathe.
Nina Monte, a professor of History of Religions at the University of Padua, is unexpectedly summoned to a secret meeting with three European officials. They want Nina to verify the authenticity of an ancient artefact, however, during the meeting she isn’t provided with much information, but she’s promised a “gift” to her university. The gift convinces her to push aside her doubts.
Alessandro Pini, a hotelier, seeks the man who was with his friend moments before his friend died.
Events throw Nina and Alessandro together and they must band together to survive.
At first it’s hard to understand why Nina Monte, an intelligent professor, agrees to accept a job without a full briefing. Yes, she’s promised money for the university, but the meeting is fishy from the start. After the reader accepts or ignores that a professor would walk into a situation blind, the action sweeps the reader into a crazy tale that doesn’t let up until the end.
While Nina is rational (aside from taking the job), Alessandro is impulsive, angry, and heart-broken. Their personalities offset each other well, adding the necessary conflict between the two who have to rely on the other to survive.
The author takes the reader on an international life or death mad dash through Italy, Austria, and India. All of the locations are brought to life with vivid descriptions and sensory details, making it easy for the reader to feel like they are traveling right along with the characters. Each place becomes an integral component of the plot.
Once Chrusciel gets the action going, he doesn’t let up. The pages rush by in a flash, making it nearly impossible to set the action-packed thriller down until you reach the final page. This is the type of story that will keep you up past your bedtime, however you may be so caught up you might not even notice the hours and pages zooming by.
The story keeps the book moving at a breathtaking pace. Nina and Alessandro are easy to cheer for. However, the villain of the story and his henchmen are a bit elusive. Lammert van der Venn isn’t a nice man. That is clear from the beginning. But what made him that way? His background information is provided and insightful, but the reader isn’t allowed into the villain’s head. Not completely. If the author developed his character and both his associates a bit more it would have enhanced the overall reading experience. Running from a madman makes for exciting reading. However, understanding the motives of the madman makes it even more thrilling.
The power of the artifact is not fully explained, keeping it mysterious, although it may frustrate some readers who enjoy getting all the details. Even if the reader doesn’t entirely understand the artifact’s power, it doesn’t diminish the enjoyment factor. The novel is after all more about Nina and Alessandro’s survival.
Fast Track to Glory is an exciting story that keeps the reader engaged once the action starts.