Find below a comprehensive review of Pontvieux’s novel ETA-Estimated Time of Arrest just published on Aobibliophile.
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“Arranoak lumak behar, txepetxak ere bai” – The eagle needs feathers, and the wren does too. (Basque Proverbs, Wikiquote)
during a pro-separatist march, Lorenzo Lartaun Izcoa is wrongly accused of bombing a police station in Irun, a small Basque city. he is branded a terrorist and flees to Mexico. two years later, his childhood friend Patxi shows up and offers him a passport and the chance to return to Europe in exchange for a “small favor.”
Lartaun, now known as Rafael, hides in a commune in the French Pyrenees where he meets and falls in love with Faustine Laroche. keeping his true identity and history a secret from Faustine, Rafael realizes too late that the small favor he owes Patxi poses a threat and is larger and deadlier than he imagined.
author Delphine Pontvieux delivers a beautiful and compelling story of a man on the run. from the colorful Basque country to the dizzying heights of the Pyrenees, i was treated to a visual and emotional rollercoaster ride. this book is part political thriller, romance and adventure filled with well-drawn characters and a very interesting plot.
i have never read a book before that explored in rich detail the plight of the Basque people. Delphine Pontvieux did an amazing job of presenting their history without sounding biased and without inundating the reader with boring historical facts. in fact, my interest was piqued to the point that i had to explore a bit about how things are now with the Euskaldunak (Basque speakers).
the author’s love for the outdoors also shines through and it was a vicarious thrill to go hiking and mountain climbing with Rafael and Faustine. years ago, i experienced doing a reverse rappel from a height of 120 feet. another thing i did was traversing a distance of 100 meters of dense tropical jungle 20 meters below me while attached to a secure harness and cable system. i tell you everything was an incredible rush!
even the book’s title is catchy and shows the author’s ingenious play with words. ETA is commonly known as Estimated Time of Arrival. Delphine replaced the last word with Arrest. ETA also stands for Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (Euskara or Basque for Basque Homeland and Freedom). this is the name of the terrorist group that figures so much in the story.
i liked the way the chapters are laid out. the numbers are handwritten and below them are Basque words. each chapter is also stamped with the time, day, month and year. this style spoke highly of the author’s flair for organization and kept me on track with what was going on in the story. by the way, you have to take a second look at the book’s cover and see if you notice something striking!
it is hard to believe that ETA: Estimated Time of Arrest is the author’s first book. for a debut novel, it manages not only to entertain but also to educate and inform as well.
Disclosure of Material Connection: i was gifted a Kindle copy of ETA: Estimated Time of Arrest by the author herself. i did not receive any payment in exchange for this review nor was i obligated to write a positive one. all opinions expressed here are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, the book’s publisher and publicist or the readers of this review. this disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.