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Mario Bolduc Books In Order

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Publication Order of Max O'Brien Mystery Books

The Kashmir Trap (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Roma Plot (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Tanzania Conspiracy (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Mario Bolduc is an author of mystery thrillers who, though late to the game of publishing, seems set to make waves in the mystery and thriller genres.


Mario Bolduc isn’t a household name, and that isn’t surprising. After all, the author’s first novel only came out in 2005. And not only did it not set the publishing arena on fire, but the author did not immediately follow it up with another one, instead allowing more than a decade to go by before announcing the commencement of his second writing project.

None the less, despite the folly of allowing his name to slip out of the public conscious, Mario’s first novel tickled enough readers’ curiosities in order to garner his second book the attention it is drawing.

Not that Mario is new to the world of entertainment. The author spent a very long time working in the movie business as a writer and a director, not to mention editing and producing.

The name Mario Bolduc has been attached to productions like ‘A Large Housing’, ‘The Night Shift’ and ‘The Last Tunnel’.

Mario, who is from Quebec in Canada, can probably look to the Prix Normande-Juneau accolade he received in 1993 for a short film as a manifestation for some of the recognition he has elicited in the industry over the years.

Though, one couldn’t be faulted for assuming that Mario has attracted more interest for his novels than he did for his movies because he is able to enjoy the direct association with his work that novels provide.

Mario Bolduc’s primary source of fame is his most notable creation, Max O’Brien. Mario’s fans have often questioned the rationale of making the protagonist of his stories a conman and setting his tales in Asia.

Mario would probably point to his experiences in Asia as a driving factor behind all the Max O’Brien stories. Mario spent some time in India back in the 80s. The author was on a long journey that would see him traverse the entire world.

It was a difficult and ambitious trip, but Mario was more than ready to take on the challenges for the rewards that awaited him, chief amongst which was the opportunity to engage with different cultures and meet new people.

The author eventually made a stop in India, a country that acts as the setting for the first Max O’Brien story. India wasn’t quite what Mario expected. The author was lucky enough to find a hotel within his means in Delhi.

By the time he arrived from Bangkok, Mario was starkly aware of the freezing February conditions of Connaught Place, the area within which he got his room. However, even with the weather, Mario was taken aback by the excessive nature of everything, from the noise to the people, the dirt and everything in between.

Mario had seen a lot of places, been to many an Asian country and immersed himself in the diverse cultures. Yet India was something truly special. Things seemed to settle for the author once he made his way to Kashmir.

In fact, his visit up north made India one of his most memorable destinations. Because Mario knew enough about the location politically to understand that tourists had nothing to fear, he was able to enjoy his stay to the fullest.

Even Srinagar, which was colder than Delhi and a little too dark, had its charm. Mario remembers the magnificence of his surroundings both during his stay on a houseboat and his hikes up the mountains.

The Kashmir Trap, the book for which Mario Bolduc is best known, draws a lot from his experience in India. As he wrote the book, Mario found that he could easily envision the scenery in all its magnificence, from the firs and pines to the snow covered mountains and the winding roads.

The day Mario’s publisher in Montreal began to prod him about his concept of a crime novel with international stakes the author knew that Kashmir was the only location for his Max O’Brien story.

Mario still keeps a close eye on the goings on of India. Mario doesn’t think Hindu extremism generates as much interest as it should. He also thinks that western media has a tendency to misrepresent the movement.

The author uses his Max O’Brien stories to take his readers on the same journey that he undertook back in the 80s.

+The Kashmir Trap

Max O’Brien is hardly a model citizen. As a conman, Max has caused a lot of heartache for a lot of people around the world. However, he soon learns that criminals are not immune to tragedy

Max’s own tragedy began several years back when his brother disappeared. When his nephew, a diplomat like his father, is assassinated, Max has no intention of sitting on his laurels and letting the police do their work.

Even as Law enforcement works to bring him down for his crimes, Max O’Brien spares no effort in flying to India to try and figure out who killed his nephew and why. But his timing couldn’t be worse.

India and Pakistan are just about ready to destroy one another. Max will dig into the very heart of the India/Pakistan conflict as he tries to discover hidden truths.

This book’s strongest aspect is the writing. Mario Bolduc does an amazing job of describing India to his readers. He brings the culture and the people to life like few other writers.

The fast pacing and the various twists are also likely to appeal to readers. The fact that this book was initially published in French, however, works against it. The translations are a little lacking. It’s either that or Mario isn’t especially effective at keeping his story together. It takes a while for things to get interesting.

Less patient readers might fall away in the beginning.

+The Roma Plot

Max isn’t everyone’s favorite person. As a conman who makes his living stealing from others, Max has made his fair share of enemies. None the less, anyone that knows Max knows that he can be counted upon when it really matters.

When Max’s friend is accused of engaging in a violent killing spree, Mario quickly finds his way to Bucharest to avail his assistance. It doesn’t take the conman long to realize that things are not as they seem as he stumbles upon secrets dating back to the Second World War.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Mario Bolduc

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