• Published: 7.14.09
  • Genre: Suspense
  • ISBN: 978-0061230905

Defense attorney Paul Madriani gets caught in a web of deceit and murder involving Cold War secrets, a rare coin dealer who once worked for the CIA, and a furious assassin in one of the most entertaining novels yet in this New York Times bestselling series.

A woman pauses in the hallway of a darkened San Diego beach house at night—listening for just the right moment when she can flee before her companion notices that she’s gone.

A man outside watches the same mansion, waiting for a sign that he can enter on his mission of blood and carnage.

So begins this riveting new tale about Paul Madriani and his latest case—that of Katia, a woman accused of an unlikely crime—a trial that will unravel a careful but horrifying conspiracy. Madriani soon realizes that he’s signed onto something much more sinister than a botched heist. As he searches for the truth that will clear Katia’s name, he finds himself on a path that takes him from Southern California to Costa Rica, and, ultimately, to a secret buried since Castro’s rise to power.

Together with his partner, Harry Hinds, Madriani must piece together the threads of a decades-old conspiracy involving priceless gold coins, an aging American spy, a disaffected Russian soldier, and a forgotten weapon from the days of JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis. As the separate strands of the story come together, Madriani finds information that will ultimately lead him to the one person who holds the key to it all: a man some call “The Guardian of Lies.”

In this fascinating thriller from New York Times bestselling author Steve Martini, Paul Madriani faces his most challenging—and most urgent—case yet, a breathless story that combines fact and fiction and will hold readers captive until its final, explosive conclusion.


REBECCA’S READS (by Narayan Radhakrishnan)

JOE’S VIEW (by Joe Meyers)


REVIEWJOURNAL.COM (by Mark Davis, Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Paul Madriani’s chance encounter with 26-year-old Katia Solaz, a Costa Rican beauty, leads to a desperate race to avoid not only personal disaster but also a national one in Martini’s sprawling 10th thriller to feature the Southern California defense attorney (after Shadow of Power ). Katia, who’s living with creepy Emerson Pike, a man old enough to be her grandfather, in a dilapidated estate surrounded by an expensive security fence, decides to return home to Costa Rica. In her flight, she just misses running into the legendary assassin known as the Mexecutioner, who sneaks into Pike’s house. The naïve Katia and well-meaning Madriani, who meet in a grocery store, provide a welcome human element amid the busy action involving escaped Guantánamo prisoners, a Colombian rebel base, a Mexican drug cartel and a plot to bring the war home to the Great Satan via a nuclear device. Tidbits like how the FBI can use cellphones as remote bugging devices add to the fun.

A gorgeous Costa Rican girl is wooed by a wealthy older American man, and she assumes it’s because of her youth and beauty. Little does she realize that it’s not her looks that appeals to him, but her family connections. And that could prove deadly for a lot of people.

Steve Martini, the master of suspense thrillers, delivers an action-packed tale of murder and deceit in his latest Paul Madriani novel, “Guardian of Lies.” Katia Solaz has been brought to the United States by Emerson Pike, a renowned coin collector. But her visit turns odd when Emerson becomes enthralled with a series of photographs found on her camera. Holding Katia in relative captivity, the old man scrutinizes the six photos that Katia’s mother had taken in Columbia. What was so fascinating about those photos? And why was he so insistent that Katia remain by his side?

When at last she’s had enough, Katia steals a few of Emerson’s coins and flees the beachside mansion-turned prison. When she is caught a few hours later, she is arrested not for theft but for the murder of Emerson Pike. She remembers meeting a lawyer during a recent hurried grocery shopping trip, and asks that he be called to represent her.

Paul Madriani is surprised, but flattered, to be called to the aid of the beautiful girl he met while she was shopping for plantains. But when he can’t come up with an alibi as to his whereabouts the night of Pike’s murder, Madriani switches into overdrive to find out why Pike was killed, and Katia’s connection to it.

Mix in a bunch of escaped Guantanomo detainees, a drug cartel, an aging Soviet warrior, and an assassin called The Mexicutioner, and you have a thrilling rollercoaster ride through the jungles of Columbia and into the halls of American justice. Add in an ancient missing weapon of mass destruction from the Cuban Missile Crisis days, and it becomes explosive! (sorry!!!) Normally, I’m not into “manly” books such as Martini’s, but I found “Guardian of Lies” absolutely riveting. His characters are interesting, the story flows well from one situation to the next without confusing the reader, and you don’t know how it all will end until…well, the end.