dialogue is quick and punchy . . . Starks handles the pacing and suspense masterfully, and although Dayton's final heroic act may strain credulity, it still makes for a thrilling conclusion . . . a determined heroine, a high body count and a mysterious villain.
L.A. Starks gets the smell and noise of the petroleum industry just right as oil company executive Lynn Dayton faces off with the seven deadly sins: pride, lying tongues, hands that shed innocent blood, hearts that devise wicked plots, feet that run to ruin, deceitful witnesses, and those who sow discord. You'll find yourself turning the pages faster and faster as Lynn's hell-on-wheels race to end a chain of murders takes her to the brink of her own death and a national catastrophe. Plan on not sleeping tonight.
James Gary Vineyard - - - author of The Grave On Peckerwood Hill
In Strike Price, L.A. Starks once again establishes herself as a master of the thriller genre. Lynn Dayton, a self-made woman in the oil industry, fights to save herself and others as she attempts to stop a plot to sabotage an oil pipeline and storage depot, and learn the identity of those who are murdering bidders for one of her company's refineries. Fast-paced and convincingly choreographed, Starks' novel presents a spot-on depiction of today's oil business that grips and scares and offers the reader plenty to think about.
Richard Holcroft - - - author of Patriot's Blood
4 Stars. I almost gave this book 5 stars and would have given it 4.5 stars if it were an option. This story allows one to imagine oneself flitting around Europe hobnobbing with the rich and then returning to Tulsa, Oklahoma and driving the dusty back roads of small-town USA. The story involves Saudi oil-rich sheiks, native Cherokees, Chechan mercenaries, and hometown American characters who are all embroiled in a plot to hinder the sale of an oil refinery. There are a number of believable characters who jump in and out of the story. The main character, a powerful woman named Lynn, has to fight prejudice as well as many other pitfalls in order to survive the story. I enjoyed reading this exciting story and was fully involved in the build-up to the final conclusion.
John Buissink - - - Goodreads
5.0 out of 5 stars Some Real Insights Here Into International Oil and Gas, and A Gripping Yarn!, March 20, 2014
As a veteran of a long career in the international oil and gas sector, it was clear to me within the first couple of chapters of L.A. Starks's masterful Strike Price that the author has deep and personal familiarity with the industry herself, both domestic and foreign. Too often, writers of fiction stoop to unconvincing caricature and cardboard insights when it comes to petroleum and the people who find it and produce it.
In a marvelous series of scenes set in Paris with a high-ranking Saudi ARAMCO negotiator, she gets the nuances of such confabs down tone-perfect. Few writers can do that because they have to try to imagine life inside a big oil and gas company, whereas Starks has obviously been there and done that in the real world. That background helps her.
You will find no overly-simple stereotypes in Starks's writing about oil companies being nefarious. In my own experience, oil and gas executives are at least as honest and financially scrupulous as other business executives in America, and it gets tiresome to see them all depiicted as cheap flim-flam con men like J. R. Ewing. And let's not forget that without Exxon and Chevron we would all be riding bicycles to work!
Strike Price is a gripping story of international business intrigue that combines real insights into the energy industry with a rip-roaring plot that I found quite imaginative and plausible. I started this book thinking I would read a few chapters a day, but by the third evening, I was burning the midnight oil and didn't turn off the light until much later than I had expected to. But that's ok!
L. A. Starks has found a niche that is worthy of further fictional exploration. I was pleased, too, to see such a strong female protagonist who seemed very much in character with the sort of young women who are attracted to the industry in real life. I think there are few businesses where talented women have made more inroads since the 1970s than energy. It was delightful for me personally to meet Lynn Dayton. She rang true. There are quite a few women who are actually that smart and that talented in real world oil and gas companies.
I heartily recommend this book! Five stars. And waiting for the next one!
Francesca Salerno - - - author of The Pakistan Conspiracy