||Jul 20, 2009
Oxana uses forced labor to operate an illegal mine in the Amazon. Her open-pit excavation is on land owned by Echo Forests, an environmental company based in New York City and controlled by Kennitosh Scarborough (Tosh). When he discovers Oxana's pit on a satellite photo, Tosh goes to investigate and is captured by Oxana's thugs. One of Tosh's employees, Amber Bravant, organizes a search for him. She is also taken prisoner by Oxana. Tosh and Amber's escape is engineered by two Yanomami children who Tosh had befriended before his capture.
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Ariion Kathleen Brindley
This story is about Kennitosh Scarborough (Tosh) and Amber, one of a set of triplets. Tosh is a wealthy single man of twenty-eight. He’s an environmentalist and businessman owning a controlling interest in Echo Forests, Inc., a corporation that concentrates on purchasing or leasing large tracts of the rain forest to prevent its destruction. His second company, a start-up, will produce a magazine called Orphan. He hires the triplets to manage the three departments in his new company.
Amber and her sisters are orphans, as Tosh is. The young ladies are twenty-three and have recently graduated from NYU. Their employment with Tosh will be their first jobs.
Oxana uses slave labor to dig chunks of amber from an open pit mine in the Amazon, destroying the rain forest as she goes. She not only enjoys human agony and killing people, but she also loves to torture animals, two of which are jaguars.
The amber Oxana’s men dig from the ground contains insects, small animals, and ampoules of ancient water. The preserved spiders, scorpions, and salamanders are millions of years old and highly prized by scientists and museum curators. She sells her illegal amber on the black market for thousands of dollars, but unknown to her, she happens to be digging her mine on Echo Forests property.
Tosh and Amber are at odds from the beginning; however, they are also drawn to each other at every turn.
Tosh’s associate and long time family friend, QUINN, spots a large clearing on a satellite photo of one of Echo Forests’ tracts of land. The area is two hundred miles from Manaus, Brazil.
After one of Tosh and Amber’s arguments, Tosh decides he and Quinn will fly the company plane to the Amazon to find out what’s going on. Quinn, the pilot, suffers a heart attack and the plane crashes in the rain forest before reaching Manaus.
Quinn dies before the plane crashes. Tosh is injured, but survives the crash. He is aided by two Yanomami children, who have lost their entire tribe to Oxana. She murdered all the women and girls, and forced the men to work in the pit.
Amber and her sisters fly to Manaus to organize a search for Tosh and Quinn.
Tosh is captured by Oxana. She fancies him as a sex slave, but he pretends to be gay. Before Amber and her search party are able to locate Tosh, they are taken prisoner by Oxana’s men. Oxana soon discovers Amber and Tosh are romantically evolved and decides to have fun with both of them.
In the end, the Yanomami children set fire to the camp, creating a disturbance which enables Tosh and the others to overpower the guards.
Oxana escapes into the jungle, but soon her remains are found; she has been torn to pieces by the two jaguars she had mistreated.
Tosh stared at him, wondering if he was on the wrong floor. The skinny man standing behind the desk appeared to be in his early twenties. His silky lime-green shirt and pleated trousers were new, although a bit baggy for Tosh’s taste and his short bleach-blond hair looked as if someone had frightened him recently. A pair of dangly red earrings hung from his earlobes.
“Who am I?” Tosh asked and was about to ask the guy why he was at that desk, when the door of the conference room opened and his three department managers filed out.
“Oh, good,” one of the triplets said. “You’ve met George.”
“Not really.” Tosh glanced at each of them and was glad to see Dominique and Madeleine wore their nametags.
“Well,” Madeleine said, “Mr. Kennitosh Scarborough, meet George Horspool.”
George’s face failed to register any enlightenment. He shrugged and picked a bit of lint from his sleeve.
“He’s the boss,” Dominique said in a loud whisper.
“Oh!” George gasped. He stepped around the desk to grab Tosh’s hand. “Mr. Scarborough. I’ve heard so much about you.” He leaned back, tilted his head to one side and smiled, showing a row of tiny teeth and way too much of his gums.
“That’s interesting, George.” Tosh released the man’s soft hand and turned to the three sisters. “I haven’t heard a thing about you.”
“George is your, uh—” Amber hesitated, took a deep breath and blurted, “He’s your secretary.”
“He’s my what?”
A tiny grin, almost a smirk, played across Amber’s lips. “Your secretary.”
The old adage, “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, has proven itself true once again. I certainly had my fair share of expectations upon glancing at the front of Ariion Kathleen Brindley’s latest work. After reading, I discovered within the pages a story unlike any I could have possibly predicted, surpassing entertainment, providing enthrallment.
Oxana’s Pit is at its core a story of adventure and romance built upon and utilizing themes of slavery, torture, greed, and madness. The latter malevolent attributes belong to the sinister Oxana, a character so evil you would never want to meet the likes of her in either a darkened ally or a sunny, overcrowded square.
And yet it is not the iniquitous Oxana who gives the story its heart and soul, though the author allows her to utter the most chilling of statements; rather it is the successful and surprisingly kind-hearted Tosh Scarborough who brings warmth and sensitivity to the novel, especially after encountering the Bravant triplets whom he hires to work for him. However, Tosh gets more than he bargained for when boss and beautiful accountant/head manager, Amber Bravant, develop a slow, but true affection for one another. My favorite character was George the Secretary, who prepares a mean cup of coffee and can land equally impressive karate chops.
Once again, Brindley’s latest work fails to disappoint. Her writing is seamless and tantalizing, it provides new insights at every corner. A departure for her earlier works, Oxana’s Pit is meant for mature audiences given the dark and ominous nature of the story. It is a must read for adventure lovers everywhere. I know she has made a fan of this booklover.
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