Blast Out of the Winter Doldrums with a Thriller--Ignore the Pain

I’ve never liked February much. More snow, ice, and cold. This year with record-breaking winter weather, I bet a lot of readers are eager to forget winter. How about curling up with a thriller – Ignore the Pain? Besides being exciting this book gives you a chance to do some armchair traveling to Bolivia, possibly a place you’ve never considered.

Let’s start with a fast-paced plot.
In Ignore the Pain, Sara Almquist couldn’t say no when invited to be the epidemiologist on a public health mission to assess children’s health in Bolivia. Soon someone from her past is chasing her through the Witches’ Market and churches of La Paz. Unfortunately, she can’t decide whether to trust any of her new colleagues, especially the unsavory Xave Zack, as she learns more about coca production and the god Tio of the silver mines of Potosí than she ever wanted to know.

The let’s add the excitement of an exotic location.
What do you like to do when you travel? See historical sites, shop for unusual items, learn about a different culture, hike a bit, and be surprised.

Bolivia fits the bill and Ignore the Pain gives you a realistic, but safe view of Bolivia.

In Ignore the Pain, you get a guided tour of attractions in Bolivia, like the Witches’ Market of La Paz. You’ll not only see native women in black bowler hats and layers of brightly covers skirts sell llama fetuses for offerings to the gods, but also smell the aromas of the city. (Note: Not all are pleasant.) You’ll also travel across the austere, almost Mars-like landscape of the Altiplano to see the exotic stone columns in the Valley of the Moon and the shores of Lake Poopó, long a summer nesting spot for flamingos and now polluted by mining runoff.

Sara is your guide. Of course, her view of Iglesia de San Francisco in La Paz might be a little different that that of the average tourist. Someone determined to kill her is chasing her across the church’s roof. The description of the roof is realistic – I’ve been there.

Why read Ignore the Pain before I plan a trip to Bolivia?
There’s a reason Ignore the Pain is a thriller. Bolivia is a poor country with severe problems. Sara gets into the midst of these problems because of her past history and her current assignment as a consultant on public health issues.

For example, the mountain Cerro Rico near Potosí is so riddled by five hundred years of silver mining that cave-ins are common. Mercury extraction of silver from the ore has polluted water supplies for large areas of the country. Bolivia is the third largest producer of coca, the raw material for cocaine.

It’s impossible to ignore coca in Bolivia. If you don’t believe me, look at tea bag cover I saved from my trip to Bolivia. Coca tea is available in most restaurants.

The use of coca in Bolivia is complicated and often logical. Thus in Ignore the Pain, Sara learns laborers in the silver mines of Potosí carry little food or water into the mines. In order to endure the pain caused by thirst, hunger, and heavy exertion at a high altitude (13,000 feet), they chew coca leaves. The active ingredients in coca leaves are stimulants, which help users ignore pain. Those facts are also basis for the title of the novel.

I hope you’ve decided to blast out of your winter doldrums by reading Ignore the Pain. Then you can decide if you want to visit Bolivia.

Bio: For more on JL Greger, check out her website: and blog: JL's Bugs at The Bugs in her blog aren’t insects. They are her real life Japanese Chin dog, who is a pet therapy dog in hospital in the Albuquerque area, and the fictional dog featured in her novels.

Here are thumbnail sketches of the two previous novels in this medical thriller/mystery series. Learn whether the Philippine flu or a drug kingpin caught in a quarantine is more deadly in Coming Flu. Discover whether an ambitious young “diet doctor” or old-timers with buried secrets are killers in Murder: A New Way to Lose Weight.

The novels are available in paperback and Kindle formats from Amazon.


M.M. Gornell said…
Very interesting review, Marilyn. Didn't know all that about Bolivia, and certainly makes me interested in Ignore the Pain. JL Gregor is now on my TBR list, and love the picture of Bugs.

JL Greger said…
Marilyn, thanks for hosting me.

M, I think you'll enjoy Ignore the Pain because Sara is a risk taker. You'll see side of Bolivia you'd miss on a standard tour.
JL Greger
Some great tips for me here as I plan to do a foreign trip mystery for my gals, too! What to include from Greece/Turkey and how to include it? Well, that's--in part--what I'll find out when I read Ignore the Pain. I'm going to use your book as a mentor text.
Janet Greger said…
You're always so kind. Thanks

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