Book Review: the Diamond Exchange by Jim Woods

The Diamond Exchange by Jim Woods
Champagne Books
Ebook: $1.00
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An author of suspense thrillers, Jim Woods has a penchant for injecting unexpected conditions into the mundane world. His new novel, The Diamond Exchange is a tale that keeps the reader pinned to the seat anticipating the protagonist’s next move as author Jim Woods crafts a plot involving a clever American courier named Rincon and a resourceful French thief named Mr. Barteau. They form a business arrangement that is entirely dependent upon the transportation of the Aquitaine diamond necklace to the client who will commission the deal. Barteau snatches the beautiful bauble from its current owner while Rincon insures that the sparkling bling is safely delivered, and he never uses the same path twice.

Woods provides no background on how Rincon was introduced to the courier business or how he met his three assistants, Carol, Allie and Jason; though their bond is as thick as the Knights Templar in the days of the Crusades. However, Woods does supply background on the mysterious necklace, which he establishes is reputed to have been given to Eleanor, Princess of Aquitaine in 14th century France from Louis VI as a wedding present for marrying his son Louis VII. When the marriage is annulled and Eleanor marries the Duke of Normandy, she refuses to return the necklace to the French king. It ends up being stolen and exchanged a number of times before Barteau gets his hands on it and hires Rincon to deliver the piece to his client who is, at first, Senor Portifio, a Brazilian industrialist.

Woods keeps the reader guessing whether Rincon and his crew will be caught by the authorities as they go through airports, travel with tour groups, sail on cruise ships, and drive across countries. There are a handful of intense moments when the reader does not believe that Rincon will escape his situation, but Woods must be an optimist because Rincon goes through the gauntlet unscathed.

Though the story is only seventy-one pages in length, it makes a lasting impression on the reader’s mind, even answering their questions about how to sneak stolen property under the watchful glare of the authorities. It’s a quick read that English director Alfred Hitchcock would have enjoyed telling on film.

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