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Max Tomlinson Books In Order

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Publication Order of The Agency Books

The Cain File (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Darknet File (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Colleen Hayes Books

Publication Order of Sendero Books

Sendero (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Who Sings to the Dead? (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Out by the Trees (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Summer Solstice(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Death in the Drowned Lands(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon

Max Tomlinson

Max Tomlinson is an American author of mystery, suspense, and thriller books. He’s the author of the Colleen Hayes Mystery series and Agency series and also written two standalone novels. Born in San Francisco, a place rich in literary history and public transport teeming with people suitable for crime in books, the stage was already set for Max to become a writer. The author is also a kindred spirit with a puppy named Floyd, who stares at headlights whenever as he passes by at night. Max’s book Sendero was listed as a top 100 Indie books of 2012 by Kirkus.


This is the first book in Sendero series by Max Tomlinson. In the 1980’s Shining Path (also known as Sendero Luminoso), a communist revolutionary organization engaged in a battle for power with the Peruvian government, which brutalized majority of the Peruvian population. In the middle of this rebellion, choices became limited, and neither side cared for what would happen to the citizens when the battle was at its peak. In the mountainous parts of Peru, primarily occupied by the indigenous Indian tribes, Maoist dubbed El, was the viable alternative to a dictatorial government.

Max Tomlinson is a fantastic historical thriller, and his series debut novel he takes this backdrop and creates an exciting and believable story around characters who have been irreversibly the by a childhood they lived in the time of revolution. While politics play a role in the story’s background, they, however, don’t get in the way. The narrative is one of profoundly personal impact and brutal reality in which the only choices available are often morally unacceptable.

Sendero tells the story of Miguel and Nina who spent their childhood with their parents during the dirty Peruvian war. Nina Flores was leading a healthy traditional life with strong family and community ties. She was only twelve years in 1987 when men from the military raped her mother and exciting her father. Two months later her elder brother Miguel joins the resistance (Senderistas) to seek vengeance. Senderistas die in suicide attack or battle- they don’t return, and Nina understands that she will never see her brother again.

In 2009, we primarily occupied Nina living in Cuzco as one of Tourist Police (Policia de Turismo), an organization that discourages its members from interfering with the illegal undertakings of the tourists who bring dollars to the Peruvian economy. When she learns that Augustin, the village pastor who was once imprisoned as a terrorist for crafting a letter condemning her father’s killing, has been arrested in the city for being drunk and disorderly, she vows to step in and help him.

Pastor Augustin has been transformed by alcohol since Nina knew him, and it’s impossible to save the man from himself and a government that suspects him as having connections with the terrorists. Just before he vanishes in the hands of the military, Malqui discloses to Nina that her brother is still alive.
Nina shows concerns about the old priests to her boyfriend, Francisco Guislan, a highly ranked anti-terrorist official. Her lover assures her that the government no longer makes people disappear and cautions her about investigating the whereabouts of the priest. She wants to believe what her lover said, but Nina is the type of woman who is always loyal to her past before everything else. Determined to save the priest and reunite with her brother, she ultimately unearths several secrets that have been hidden from her by those who love her.

What follows next is Nina’s violent and suspense-filled journey into the Peruvian underworld, mountain paths were drug kingpins reign and secret military operations. The road that she travels is full of deceit, political wolves disguised as political sheep and corruption. Max Tomlinson is an expert in descriptive language. He weaves the scene around his cast of characters beautifully, whether its set in the rain forest of Andes or the grittier parts of Cuzco. The characters are finely drawn such that you even get a sense of smaller supporting characters quickly. However if you’re looking for heroes in this book, you’ll be disappointed. There aren’t heroes or heroines in Nina’s universe. Death is pretty fast, and there isn’t time to mourn. Miguel and Nina are children born in war, and hence they depict different morality.

Sendero series is a great recommended read for those who enjoy suspense books extraordinarily suspenseful historical fiction books with a big dose of food for thought. Fans of Tony Hillerman and Martin Cruz Smith should appreciate Tomlinson’s novels.

Who Sings to the Dead

In his second book in Sendero series, Kirkus Award-Winning author Tomlinson transports into the intricate world of modern Peru, and the aftermath of the Dirty War waged by the Peruvian government against the Sendero Luminoso.

While not directly related to the events in the series debut novel, Who Sing to the Dead invokes the series of secrets that continues to engulf the South American nation, while at the same time weaving some fantastic elements of compelling police procedural as the heroine tries to rescue a young girl kidnapped by American with connection to the Dirty War. As with the first book, the author brings his keen description and dialogue into the mix while at the same time giving the reader an intimate take on a national character that are forever changed by their war on terror. For those who have read the first book in the series will appreciate the character developments that have occurred since the end of the first book. In addition new readers will also be able to follow the story arc without having to keep scorecards of previous events. As the tension builds, the author’s style of interweaving mysteries will bring you into a thrilling and worthy conclusion.

There are clear descriptions of the Holy Week and chase into the rainforest that will make you call your travel agent. The skillful revelation of the lives of the lead and supporting characters is proof that Max Tomlinson is capable heir of Lenard and Patterson’s underworld territory.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Max Tomlinson

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