What can three women, shipwrecked on an island, have to do with world security and the actions of a powerful man entrusting a staggering secret to someone else? Plenty, as former Canadian Disaster Recovery agent Adam Saint is about to find out in the hard-hitting international thriller The Women of Skawa Island.

The Women of Skawa Island: An Adam Saint Book

Anthony Bidulka

Insomniac Press

978-1554831241              $19.95

www.anthonybidulka.com , www.amazon.ca/Women-Skawa-Island-Adam-Saint


Saint is used to having high level resources at his beck and call – but, not on this mission.


He’s used to the support of an international intelligence agency with all the bells and whistles that come with it … but all that’s gone.


And he’s used to professional abilities that streamline his investigations and result in swift resolutions – but, not this time.


Add the unusual family sidekicks of a sassy sister and a misfit nerd nephew with a penchant for computers, then open the story with a Titanic-like shipwreck scenario in which the inhabits of a cruise ship party on in placid waters while the klaxons chime warnings of disaster and you have a gut-punch opening and scenarios that dance around one another like boxers in the ring.


Descriptions throughout are tightly woven and intricate, imparting a ‘you are there’ feel: “The passengers’ chatter, growing increasingly rapid and agitated, was drowning out the ship’s incessant alarms. As they passed their shipmates, Darren was reminded that most spoke a language he’d never heard before. Until this minute he hadn’t thought it was a big deal. Now he wondered if understanding each other was about to become the biggest deal ever.”


When a mysterious order from Australia for all ships to take cover interrupts festivities, chaos abounds, leaving readers to wonder: what would you do if an Earth-changing cataclysm or terrorist attack were to strike while you were far from home?: “A cataclysmic event has been forecast, and this event,” Smith continued, “is massive in scale, with the potential to affect every continent on earth.” “Let’s go home! I want to go home!” someone cried out, quickly followed by others. “We can’t go home,” Smith responded firmly. “All we can do…all we can do is hide and hope for the best.


Scroll forward to the first-person story of Adam’s investigation of an increasingly-bizarre secret. Who is behind it? CDRA’s new head honcho, Shekhar Kapur? Or the most powerful woman in the world of clandestine operations, Maryann Knoble? With high-level hacking and deadly games being played at every level, from interpersonal emotional to high-level intelligence, and you have a plot fueled by passion, emotion and the drive for excellence and power: all ingredients for hard-hitting action.


As Adam’s probe reveals an unimaginable atrocity in the South Pacific world the three women call home, his conflicting vision of himself as healer/saint and high-order investigator collide. The women of Skawa Island are about to start talking – and when they do, their revelations will cause widespread destruction, leaving Saint standing alone against an overwhelming enemy who will do anything to prevent that from happening.


It’s one man – and his sidekicks – against the world; and at the heart of it all are three women with a long-held secret to tell.


The Women of Skawa Island does what any good thriller should do: builds intrigue around character motivations, paints a path that eventually becomes crystal clear but throughout seems mired in moral and ethical issues, and, in the end, comes full circle as it addresses family ties, responsibilities, misconceptions, and warped purposes – all packaged in a cloak of unpredictability and fast-paced, well-wrought action.


What thriller reader could ask for more?

D. Donovan, eBook Reviewer, Midwest Book Review