Overview When the multibillion dollar pharmaceutical company owned by the Revell family approaches Taylor Knox and his company about a merger, the future never looked better. But to obtain his personal share, Taylor must find Kirra Revell, the Revell family heiress who was once the love of Taylor's life.
Against a backdrop of international intrigue and ruthless drug monopolies, award-winning author Davis Bunn delivers an intoxicating page-turner in this redemptive thriller.
Multi-billion dollar giant Revell Pharmaceuticals is devouring its competition. A new research breakthrough propels the company into releasing its most profitable product ever. Yet a family crisis confronts them when Kirra Revell, heiress to the empire, goes missing.
Taylor Knox, an employee of Revell's latest acquisition, is blackmailed into leading the search. An expert surfer, Taylor pursues the world's biggest waves as a cover, only to be ensnared in a deadly contest of corporate espionage.
In the race to find Kirra, everyone's motives are suspect. A Celtic monk's warning only heightens the peril. Is it money, power, passion, or something deeper that compels Taylor to risk everything?
From Scotland's holy islands to the rugged Basque coast of Spain, from boardrooms and luxury yachts to the dungeons of America's oldest surviving fortress, the hunt is on. Can Taylor Knox achieve his quest before time runs out for Kirra Revell -- and for himself?
Citations And Professional Reviews Elixir by Davis Bunn has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 03/01/2004 page 50
Booklist - 03/01/2004 page 1100
CBA Retailers - 04/01/2004 page 44
Christian Retailing - 04/05/2004 page 22
Romantic Times - 04/01/2004 page 67
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Studio: Thomas Nelson
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.34" Width: 5.63" Height: 0.74" Weight: 0.89 lbs.
Release Date Mar 31, 2004
Publisher Thomas Nelson
ISBN 0849944716 ISBN13 0023755023209 UPC 023755023209
Availability 0 units.
More About Davis Bunn
T. DAVIS BUNN, a native of North Carolina, has lived in Europe for thirty-five years. Davis academic background includes degrees in psychology and economics from Wake Forest University and a masters degree in finance from the City University of London. Fluent in three languages, he has travelled extensively in Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Davis enjoys a particularly strong following in the inspirational market, often ranking on the Christian Booksellers Association bestseller lists. He has collaborated with Janette Oke, one of the leading names in Christian publishing, on a series of novels. Davis is a New York Times Bestselling author and has garnered a number of industry honors, including three Christy Awards for excellence in historical and suspense fiction.Davis teaches in the Creative Writing Programme at the University of Oxford, where he holds an appointment as a Core Lecturer in the subject of fiction. He splits his time between Oxford and Florida with his wife Isabella.
Excellent Christian mystery/adventure! May 16, 2005
This is one of the most exciting reads I have encountered recently. It has a compelling Christian overtone, but is not "in your face." The characters are very believable and are developed rather deeply. The settings are exciting, ranging from the United States, to Scotland, to the French/Spanish border. I have traveled in the Basque country of France and Spain, and was very pleased with how well the Pyrenees are depicted here. The descriptions of surfing are very good, although the author's understanding of the pharmaceutical industry is a little bit naive. Overall, it is a great read that will keep you turning pages. I do recommend it highly. I also recommend "A Skeleton in God's Closet" by Paul Maier. For another international mystery with a Christian theme, I highly recommend "The Curse of Durgan's Reef" by Bruce Conn.
4 1/2 Stars...Evocative, but Rushed Sep 14, 2004
Healing is at the center of Bunn's latest thriller--spiritual, emotional, and physical restoration. "Elixir" is a heady mix that brings wonderful results, with only one or two side effects.
The story follows Taylor Know, a man wrestling with his past mistakes. When his company is gobbled up by a huge industry leader, he fears his corporate days are numbered. To his surprise, he ends up on a highly personal search for the industry leader's daughter. Is he being used as a pawn in a much larger game? He has his suspicions, but with money forced into his hands and killers on his tail, he chases after his former love.
The back cover seems to imply a more medically minded thriller, but this book is set in much grittier places--the wild surf of France and Scotland, the highlands of the Basque country, and the belly of an old fortress. It is really a story of one man's healing. Toward the end, it seems rushed. It also tacks on a somewhat unbelievable faith element in the middle of a Wall Street Journal article.
Overall, though, "Elixir" proves that Bunn is one of our reigning novelists when it comes to evocative description and character development. Some of these scenes won't be easily forgotten, and Taylor Knox and associates will stay with you after you close the last page.
One Man's Journey to Faith --- and True Love May 17, 2004
Taylor Knox, middle manager for a small pharmaceutical company in Annapolis, MD, quickly finds that an imminent takeover by drug-industry giant Revell is going to affect more than his job. Years ago, as a youth coming up from a hardscrabble existence in St. Augustine, Florida, Taylor found employment with the Revell family on their yacht --- and fell in love with their beautiful, headstrong daughter Kirra.
As the novel opens and all throughout its pages, Bunn weaves in Taylor's surfing adventures. While I occasionally found my eyes rolling back in my head at some of the detailed descriptions of waves and surfer moves, this is certainly stuff I haven't read about before --- it gives Bunn a great way to take Taylor from the Old City of St. Augustine to the rough Oban coast in Scotland on down to French Basque seaside territory. More on that in a moment.
But back to Taylor and the Revell family. Just as he realizes that the takeover seems a little funny, Kirra's sister Amanda contacts him and tells him that she wants him to find her sister, who has gone missing. Since the Revells --- particularly father Jack, but Amanda as well --- loathe Taylor, he is suspicious. However, Amanda pulls him in by saying that Kirra asked for him. Before you can say "setup," Taylor is off to Florida and his boyhood home. Once there, memories threaten to overwhelm him, and Ada Folley, the multiracial neighbor who raised him in many ways, has taken him to task for a past deed that broke Kirra's heart.
However, Taylor's memories are nowhere near as threatening as the goons who overpower him and leave him to die in the city's underground tunnels. Of course we know that Taylor, child of the St. Augustine streets, will make it out, but it costs him a great deal physically to do so, and that's not his last brush with injury. However, he does get a lead that Kirra is or was in Scotland, and so he flies, rides and hikes his way out to the tiny island of Iona, home of an ancient monastery known as a "thin place": that is, the bond between humanity and divinity is very thin there.
As I write this, my own pastor and his wife are planning their July sabbatical trip to Iona because they want to deepen their faith journey together --- that's how powerful a place this is, and so it is fitting that Bunn chooses Iona as the site of Taylor's slow spiritual awakening (begun years before by Ada but never achieved as Taylor made his way in the world).
Taylor's "pilgrim's progress" might seem too slick and quick for some, but for others who have said their own "few words" (as Bunn describes Taylor on a seaside promontory giving his life over to Jesus) it will be quite believable. Woven throughout is the story of Taylor's communications with his secretary, Allison, a single mother who is trying to hold things together at home while helping Taylor stay one step ahead of Amanda Revell and company. The rest of the novel moves quickly from Scotland to Basqueland, but the ending holds some surprising --- and sweet --- results.
--- Reviewed by Bethanne Kelly Patrick
Difficult and disappointing Apr 27, 2004
The plot sounded great from the cover, but the book itself was quite disappointing. Bunn's writing style is too choppy - sort of like reading John Wu in prose.
I forced myself to finish the first three chapters to see if it would get better or at least more interesting, but it did not. I figure that if an author can't hook me into the story in less than the first 30 pages, there are better things I could be doing with my time - like watching the grass grow.