The timeless appeal of the treasure-quest
The fun and the appeal of treasure hunting
Sometimes I take myself and my reading too seriously. Reading DOES teach me things. It gives me cultural perspectives, relays the news of the world, showcases the differing viewpoints of other people, and teaches me history. Reading keeps me current, informed, and aware of the events of the world. It’s an integral part of how I earn my living.
But every once in a while, I’m reminded that no matter how necessary reading is, it’s also pure, unadulterated, fun. Reading allows me to escape into worlds not based on my reality.
Those worlds are always based on courageous adventures, vast wealth, and overcoming incredible odds.
I guess that’s why treasure-hunting fiction has always enticed me.
First I found Elizabeth Peters’ series on the Egyptologist, Amelia Peabody. A strong, independent woman delving into ancient mysteries. Somehow I stumbled onto Clive Cussler, (a wonderful find!) and began accompanying the debonaire Dirk Pitt on rip-roaring adventures in search of lost treasures. A few days ago I came across “Ramsey’s Gold,” debuting Drake Ramsey, the searcher of hidden fortunes.
Russell Blake debuts Drake Ramsey treasure hunter
Ramsey’s Gold is the first in a 3-book series by Russell Blake. Drake Ramsey makes a living as a bounty hunter, but because he doesn’t follow the rules, he loses his job. Luckily for him, he gets a call from an attorney claiming to have a package directed to him. A recently-deceased, unknown aunt leaves Drake some money, a letter, and his father’s journal.
Drake’s father was an explorer and treasure hunter who believed he had found the lost Incan treasure of Paititi. He documents his find in the journal which is handed to Drake in the attorney’s office. From there, the race is on. What follows is a story of intertwining plots involving several governments, a beautiful archeologist, multiple “treasures,” international intrigue, and betrayal.
Ramsey’s Gold, like most of the other treasure-hunting adventures I’ve read, allowed me to traverse territory I’ll never encounter in my physical life, experience lifestyles unlike anything in my sedate Midwestern existence, and imagine wealth that I will ever know.
That’s the fun of the treasure-hunt novel. It takes me out of myself and lets me escape. (And of course, there’s always the challenge of figuring out the clues and finding the treasure in my mind BEFORE the hero of the story does!)
Quibbling over the quest
Like most treasure-hunting novels, Russel Blake’s lead character is a dashing, testosterone-filled male. (The main character in Elizabeth Peter novels is the female, Amelia Peabody, make her book stand out in a male-dominated genre.) In Ramsey’s Gold, the beautiful archeologist never shows her aptitude for finding and unearthing the discovery. Instead, she falls into quicksand, sprains her ankle running through the jungle, and is kidnapped and taken hostage by a rival group. Why does Russell make the one character trained in finding, uncovering, and documenting artifacts look helpless and incompetent?
But this is a book I read for fun — not for critiquing Blake’s characters — and I was caught up in the search for the treasure, the storyline involving a “treasure” far more important than gold, and the interaction between friend and foe.
The connection of the author to his work
Russell Blake sounds like an interesting guy. He is a New York Times Bestselling author and prolific writer who has created several series:
The Day After Never series — 8 books
Jet series — 16 books *** I need to read one of these because it is based on a female protagonist, the former killer Mossad agent, who fakes her death to escape the “life.”
Thrillers — 10 stand-alone novels
Drake Ramsey series
Black series — 5 books
The Assassin series — 7 books
Nonfiction — 2 books with a new one entitled “Retirement Secrets of Mexico,” coming out on Amazon on October 30th.
GUESS WHAT? In doing this research, I discovered that Russell Blake has co-authored two books with Clive Cussler. No wonder I liked this book and felt the same rush I feel when I read Cussler.
Russell Blake, Entrepreneur
Not only is Blake a prolific novelist, but he is also an extraordinary entrepreneur. His “other jobs” include his company in the European Union that publishes his books for American, European, and Canadian audiences.
Blake is an expert on Mexican building and owns a custom home design and construction company. You can view some of his designs on BuildCabo.com.
If that isn’t enough, throw a restaurant chain into the mix. “Peku” is a chicken-based franchise (similar to Chick-Fil-A). Currently, there are three locations, but after the pandemic, 8–10 more will open in Guadalajara, with franchise opportunities opening up all over Mexico.
An Argentinian Gelato franchise for Mexico and the design of homes and development for a five-star subdivision complex in Mexico are upcoming projects.
Sounds like Russell Blake has found the key to wealth. I guess if you write about adventure stories, you also live it. If you search for treasure in fiction, you’re pursuing it in life, too.
Buy Ramsey's Gold from Bookshop.org.
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