The novel, Provocateur, received awards in two national competitions in the fiction category:
— Southern California Book Festival
— Los Angeles Book Festival
"Pounding suspense strikes again in Chuck Martin's new thriller! I got totally pulled into Nadia's obsession...and you will, too. Great for your summer escape!"
— Harvey Karp, M.D., best-selling author
“Charles Martin has created a contemporary version of Lilith. His new novel sizzles with intrigue and sexual tension.”
— Nancy Nigrosh is a current e-book developer and consulting editor to authors and screenwriters with a 25 year track record as a motion picture literary agent (clients have included Academy Award winner Kathryn Bigelow ("The Hurt Locker"), Stuart Beattie ("Collateral," "Pirates Of The Caribbean"), Amanda Brown ("Legally Blonde"), and many others. literary-business.com
"Nadia's Obsession creates a journey that follows her through many worlds of danger as she moves like a tornado through a maze of intrigue...Nadia's journey involves emotional development even as it revolves around intrigue, dangerous wealthy men, and high-stakes international schemes."
— Diane Donovan,
"....a fast-paced plot packed with twists, turns, and international intrigue, Nadia's Obsession lies in not just
the protagonist, but a host of powerful female women."
— Midwest Book Review
“Martin has crafted another engrossing tale of seduction and international intrigue, the story of Nadia, a Russian orphan girl who grows into a woman other women want to be and all men want to have, but only the reader truly wins.”
— David Ward, Academy-Award winning screenwriter
Midwest Book Review
Nadia (the character introduced in Charles D. Martin's previous novel Provocateur) originally came to the U.S. as a young Russian mail-order bride, only to be employed by an ex-CIA agent who hires her to seduce wealthy men and obtain their fortunes.
Nadia's Obsession continues her saga and opens with a satisfying prologue that sets the background and events of Provocateur for newcomers, outlining her background, missions and motivations.
The scene is set for a road trip steeped in California culture and fast action as passenger Nadia finds herself in a yellow sports car taking a wild ride with her best friend Alexandra, a skilled driver who loves thrills and danger. Readers are treated to a display of Nadia's special abilities when a simple lunch at a local dive provokes unwelcome advances from bikers: threats Nadia dispels through observation, knowledge, and courage. It is this incident and Nadia's other special skills that set the stage for Nadia's Obsession: a journey that follows her through many worlds of danger as she moves like a tornado through a maze of intrigue.
Her few friends begin to grasp these special skills - and come to understand why many forces vie to gain control of her:
"It's not just her ability to solve complex math or computer problems. It's far beyond that. An individual like her has a hyper awareness about everything going on around her. She observes everything in a way that is almost superhuman.
It's as if the rest of us live in a two-dimensional world and she lives in a three-dimensional one. Her mind grasps and understands things on a whole different level than us."
Nadia's journey involves emotional development even as it revolves around intrigue, dangerous wealthy men, and high-stakes international schemes.
Ex-KGB operatives, secret units of government, and military intelligence experts all want something from Nadia that she's unwilling to give, even including passing her rare mental abilities to progeny who would then be manipulated.
From a cruise which turns deadly to Nadia's realization that her real foe might equal both her intelligence and her rare abilities, the underlying journey Nadia takes is that of cementing her involvement in Russian affairs in general and the plight of orphans (like herself) in particular. Add in a chess game whose moves mirror Nadia's and you have a collection of insights into character, skills and purposes that are strengthened by every move she
""You really live dangerously." He said. "I love the thrill of it." She responded, tapping her finger nails again impatiently on the table. He still had a big piece-count advantage and had tightened his defenses around his king. But he could not get on the offence. She was controlling what was happening. He had to move to defend his king or to respond to an audacious move on her part."
It takes a journey to Russia and a dangerous encounter that claims the life of one of her best friends to point Nadia in a different direction: one that ultimate promises changes to Russia's orphanages and new friendships.
Aside from its fast-paced plot packed with twists, turns, and international intrigue, a strength of Nadia's Obsession lies in not just the protagonist but a host of female characters who are powerful women in their own right.
These are uniformly intelligent, take-charge individuals, courageous and confrontational: it's refreshing to read a novel where all the female protagonists are powerful individuals.
Another notable point: Nadia's Obsession incorporates social consciousness along with its story of international intrigue: Nadia's concern for orphans and her own experiences with Russia's orphanages makes for a fine subplot that involves readers in more than Nadia's personal goals.
Black and white and color illustrations pepper the story and add vivid visual embellishment, whether they concern a yellow Lamborghini or a deadly viper snake set to strike. These visual moments come at key points in the text and provide satisfyingly unexpected color to the story line.
The result is a multi-faceted story that whips through action scenes and struggles, the focal point being Nadia's strong character which holds everything together.
As a sequel to Provocateur, it's a fine expansion that adds further depth and details about Nadia's personality and purposes. As a stand-alone thriller for newcomers, it won't disappoint.
And, be forewarned: newcomers WILL want to read Provocateur!