The Secret Sentinel Review
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Desperate to impress her boss at the museum, Savannah Rutledge steals an ancient treasure map from her father’s antique shop. To save her job, Savannah agrees to let museum curator Winston Gale use it for the upcoming exhibit, “Buried Treasures of the Southwest.” But Winston Gale has no intentions of giving it back.

On the night of the exhibit, everything goes horribly wrong. Two people die, and the map gets stolen. Savannah manages to recover it, but now the police are after her for murder, and her only hope lies with a stranger who wants the map for his own mysterious reasons.

Antonio Desada knows the secret that the Gales and the Rutledges have fought over for the past century. A vast treasure is hidden somewhere, and the only clues lie in an old map, which leads from one riddle to another. Desada plans to find that treasure, come what may, and he’ll use Savannah to get what he wants.

  
 
Shoved headlong into a deadly game that she wants no part of, Savannah’s only chance to stay alive is to keep feeding him answers to the clues and hope that she’ll find a way out before she’s no longer useful.

The Secret Sentinel is a wild mixture of National Treasure and Indiana Jones—except for the fact that the characters aren’t as interesting. Savannah does a few dumb things that left me shaking my head, and I totally gave up on her when she started trusting the enemy.

Meanwhile, Antonio Desada’s motive is mostly unclear. I think it would have helped if readers had been allowed to know who he really is right from the beginning. It might have cut down on some major confusion—not to mention made him more likable.

The villains, too, are a little too cheesy for my liking. And the whole cast of characters seems a bit wishy-washy about which side they’re on. I also should probably point out that women don’t have Adam’s apples—a mistake that the author made repeatedly, and that an editor should have caught.

Other than the above, though, The Secret Sentinel is a fairly good story, with suspense, a bit of romance, and an interesting hunt for buried treasure. If the characters hadn’t been flawed to the point of distraction, I probably would have enjoyed it more.

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