X Marks the Spot

Author: MJ O’Shea

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Rating: 3 stars

Buy Links: DSP and Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher


Blurb: Jack Hunter is always on a quest for lost art, ancient manuscripts, and anything else that’ll romance the millions of viewers who watch his show each week. He hasn’t always hit pay dirt in his searches though, and a string of empty global treasure hunts has left his show on the brink of cancellation. Jack needs a white whale, a holy grail, nothing less than a miracle to revive his career.

Aloysius “Alo” Green likes his ivory towers. He’s content to study from the comfort of a university library and publish papers nobody other than academics will ever read. But coded letters pointing to hidden Nazi treasure fall into his hands, and while colleagues warn him to keep them to himself, Alo can’t stop obsessing. He makes a huge mistake and publishes a paper on his find, ignoring the danger doing so will bring.

Jack is sure he’s struck gold when his assistant brings Alo’s paper to him. Alo wants nothing to do with Jack or his televised treasure hunt. But after Alo is threatened, it appears Jack is his best bet to silence those who seek to use him to find the vast wealth first.

By trusting Jack, Alo might’ve saved himself… or made his worst decision yet.


Review: This book started out pretty interesting but sadly didn’t stay that way. Which is kind of surprising given the content and constant danger the characters seem to be in. I just thought too many things didn’t work in the book for me personally.

Alo is a college student who gets a hold of some letters his family has always thought held a clue as to what happened to his grandfather who disappeared in the war. A Jewish man who talked his way into working for a Nazi who has a an obsession with collecting art. During war of course so the means his “collecting” was no doubt under dubious circumstances. In the letters Alo finds clues as to where the treasures are hidden. Where Alo fails is telling people about it. He goes so far as to publish his findings drawing the attention of some unsavory sorts but it also brings Jack to his door.

Jack Hunter is a treasure hunting reality TV star who’s show is about to be canceled. He puts his hope of saving it on finding the things in Alo’s letters. It’s a leap but it would surely save the show. Jack , his team and Alo race around Europe trying to solve the puzzles and fall for each other in the process.

I think where the book loses me is when Alo publishes the letters. He’s supposed to be so smart that he’s the only one who can decode the letters but he publishes the findings? Nazi war treasure is a HUGE thing. Sure Alo was being ridiculed by his peers and his department head didn’t believe him so he might have just wanted some validation? Maybe but it seemed like an extremely dumb move. I guess it shows how naive Alo is? He must be if he thinks it”ll all just go away after that.

The baddie is this book was kind of a disappoint. I was more in fear of the police busting them for breaking into to places and taking things than the danger from the possibility of some other people. I just think this part of the book fell flat.

Sadly the relationship didn’t amount to much for me either. I like Jack and I like Alo but there just didn’t seem to be much chemistry between the two. Alo seemed to go all school boy crush on Jack which was kind of cute but he came off as quite young and again naive. It’s also a totally squicks me out when you call a guy kid and then sleep with him like Jack frequently did. Yes there’s an age difference but that’s not sexy at all. The big avoidance at the end felt like it was put there to manufacture some angst. Which it didn’t. It just made me wish it would end sooner and think less of Jack. The excuse was sweet but still didn’t satisfy why there was no contact made.

So basically this book was kind of a miss for me. The mystery wasn’t all that exciting. The action didn’t amount to much. The couple didn’t do it for me. I’m a little disappointed because the blurb had me so excited to read this and I usually like this author.


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