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Elixir [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Davis Bunn , Colacci David" Colacci
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 6 2010
"

When Revell Pharmaceuticals, the multi-billion dollar giant owned by the Revells, approaches Taylor Knox and his company with the possibility of a merger, the future has never looked better.

Not only will the merger benefit Taylor and his company—the promise of a personal share of the proceeds makes the move even more worthwhile. But in order to obtain this personal share, Taylor must find the missing pharmaceutical heiress, Kirra Revell—once the love of his life—who seems to have disappeared without a trace.

According to her sister, Kirra has been kidnapped. But as Taylor travels the globe in pursuit of the missing woman, he realizes that Kirra simply doesn’t want to be found.

As the search continues, Taylor’s life is threatened at every turn. Who is behind these deadly attacks? When Taylor finally locates Kirra and discovers the secret of her research with indigenous plants, he realizes what a threat she is to her family’s pharmaceutical empire. And now, he too is a threat. How far are these corporate killers willing to go to protect their empire?

"


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From Publishers Weekly

Using such diverse locations as Florida, Maryland, Scotland and the French Basque region as his backdrops, Bunn crafts a competent suspense novel with faith themes that should appeal to both inspirational and general market audiences. Thirty-year-old Taylor Knox knows he's doomed when the pharmaceutical lab he works for is about to be acquired by his old flame Kirra's family business, Revell. Taylor and Kirra's relationship ended badly, and the Revell family is bitter toward Taylor. But Kirra has disappeared, and despite her loathing for Taylor, chairman Amanda Revell wants him to help the family locate her sister. As Taylor traces Kirra, he discovers she's been investigating natural healing compounds found in plants—compounds that may threaten the very pharmaceutical empire her family has created. Is familial love the real reason they wish to find her? Taylor's search for Kirra leads him to an abbey in Scotland, where a communal prayer, "Lord lead me from the darkness of my own making," haunts him. His quest to find Kirra also becomes a passion to quench the demons from his past. The plot unfolds well, and while the number of locations may make readers' heads spin, the novel's historical details about the Minorcans and the Basque people yield good results. Fresh phrases, strong verbs and solid descriptions leaven some of the slower-paced surfing scenes, and Taylor's spiritual journey feels believable and inviting. The ending, while not wholly unexpected, holds a few surprises.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From Booklist

Taylor Knox is a midlevel executive at a small pharmaceutical firm, but his job is threatened when the giant company Revell threatens a takeover. In fact, Taylor's ouster may be the reason for the takeover. Amanda Revell, Revell's CEO, has had a grudge against Taylor ever since he dated--and nearly married--her sister, Kirra, long ago. Now, she wants Taylor to find Kirra, who has gone missing. Taylor doesn't trust the hell-on-wheels Amanda but agrees to the mission because he's still in love with Kirra. He journeys to Florida, Scotland, and the Basque country of France and Spain, where various thugs try to kill him. Slowly, he divines the real reason Amanda wants to locate her sister: knowledge of an herbal, effective alternative to Revell's biggest seller. More overtly than in Bunn's recent thrillers, Taylor begins a spiritual search as well, encountering a wise Scottish monk and facing up to the ghosts of his past, which include his betrayal of Kirra. He finds the road to peace and to love as well in this rather quiet thriller with some wonderful surfing scenes (Taylor's passion) and some fine evocations of settings, especially St. Augustine, Florida, and the aforementioned Basque country. Bunn has comfortably made the transition from evangelical to mainstream readers, and his popularity shows no sign of abating. John Mort
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars One Man's Journey to Faith --- and True Love May 16 2004
Format:Paperback
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.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Difficult and disappointing April 27 2004
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
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.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  9 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 1/2 Stars...Evocative, but Rushed Sept. 14 2004
By Eric Wilson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One Man's Journey to Faith --- and True Love May 16 2004
By FaithfulReader.com - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Plot summary on novel spoils plot Aug. 22 2006
By Bill Garrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
It's hard to know exactly how I feel about Elixer, a Christian Thriller by prolific author David Bunn. For one thing, I listened to this on audio tape, and the reader chose one of the most annoying accents in history for the lead Taylor Knox. But most important, the summary on the back of the book gives away the entire plot. If you read the summary on the book, you'll know something that isn't revealed until the final 4/5ths of the book.

The novel starts out with a prologue. Taylor Knox is surfing and is attacked by a sniper, then it goes back 9 days earlier and we learn how Taylor got in that situation. Taylor runs a scientific research group for a pharmaceutical company. That company is bought out by Revell Pharmaceuticals. Taylor has a history with the Revell family. He dated the youngest daughter Kirra and the father and older daughter Amanda despise him. But now Kirra is missing and Amanda wants her found. And Kirra specifically asked for Taylor. So Taylor begins a journey of trying to find Kirra. Almost immediately, Taylor realizes he is not alone in trying to find Taylor and these men put Taylor's life in danger.

A scene where Taylor must escape from a room quickly filling up with water by crawling through a forty foot long tunnell that is barely big enough for him to squeeze through is one of the most harrowing, thrilling scenes I've ever read. Taylor talks with people who knew Kirra was researching ancient herbal remedies. (At no point does the book give away that these remedies threaten Revell's new products, which the book summary manages to spoil.) Taylor follows Kirra's trail to a monestary in Scotland and here the story moves slowly as suspense shifts to drama as Taylor wages a spirtual battle within.

Taylor meets a couple of fellow surfers who may not be what the same and together they travel to France and the Basque country. From this point on, the story slogs through a meandering plot. First, there are several surf scenes that drag on and really don't have a plot. Second, several characters take actions that seem like the long way to do things.

In the end, Taylor reconciles all of his relationships, including that with God. This could have been a solid novel if the ending hadn't been spoiled by the summary on the book and if Bunn hadn't become so enamored with his own settings. In the end, it ranks as an average novel. The religious element is stronger than in a few other Bunn novels I've read but slows the novel down in the middle.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Christian mystery/adventure! May 15 2005
By Dave - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
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.
5.0 out of 5 stars finished the book in less than 12hours! June 24 2013
By G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed all of the books I've read by Mr. Bunn...this was no exception. The portion describing Taylor's indiscretion was unsavory, but read as the lowest point in his life. Forgiveness is necessary for us all.
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