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The Scopas Factor


Loved it! 😍

The Scopas Factor is a rip-snorting read that's hard to put down, a rush right up until the end.

Mud Woman is one of many in a Laotian refugee camp. She keeps to herself and draws in the dirt, always drawing. One day her daughter arrives at the camp, and Mud Woman begins to sew. She hides her story cloth when it is finished, a cloth that tells a sordid tale of violence and brutality, and tells her daughter never to reveal it to anyone. The next day, Mud Woman is seized by mercenaries (the same mercenaries who destroyed her village?) and taken, never to be seen again.

Mike Hegan is on leave from the Chicago Police Department. His last case ended in tragedy, and he's hoping for some time to regroup. He travels to the small town of Weedley, California, with his girlfriend, Diana, and realizes that all is not as it seems. Why does he keep seeing the Gadsden flag - "Don't Tread On Me"? What is its significance? The flag reappears when they visit Diana's parents in San Francisco. Hegan begins to suspect that Diana's father may be involved in something shady, and he is pulled into an international intrigue involving art forgeries, drug smuggling, and more.

The Gadsden flag, forged statues, a mysterious figure called The Black, the Hmong story cloth created by the Mud Woman, kidnapping, murder - all of these are part of the tale Vincent Paniettere weaves in The Scopas Factor. This is the second in a series, something I didn't realize when I started reading. While I might have benefited from reading the first book before this one, I was able to make sense of the story just fine as a stand-alone.

The main characters and the more important side characters are well-drawn, with enough backstory to give them some depth and dimension. Even the bad guys (okay, most of the bad guys) are described in enough detail to make them human, to give the reader insight into how they've ended up where they are.

It took a little time for me to follow the story, as it didn't start out from Hegan's perspective. But once I got into it, it was a rip-snorting good read that was hard to put down. Hegan had to figure out how all the seemingly disparate elements came together to solve the mystery, and he did a fine job of it. There's mystery, suspense, a little bit of romance, and action that just doesn't stop. If you like thrillers and mysteries, read The Scopas Factor. This was my first book of Panettiere's, but it won't be my last.

Reviewed by

I'm Lisa. Mom of boys, baker of treats, and reader of all the books. I prefer cozy mysteries, fantasy, and suspense, but I'll read anything that grabs my attention. I thrive on coffee and dark chocolate, and I need about 12 more hours in any given day.


About the author

A Woman to Blame, re-release, is the first novel written by Vincent Panettiere. His second was the award-winning and critically acclaimed These Thy Gifts; followed by The Scopas Factor. He has also written a non-fiction book. The Internet Financing Illusion, a look at the dark side of the internet. view profile

Published on December 02, 2018

Published by

80000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by