By Rachel M. Anderson, Freelance Writer

After his family business goes up in flames, his son is murdered and his wife dies of a broken heart, Miami businessman Chadwick Otto knows who is to blame for his torment, but the legal system seems unable to redress the wrongs. So, he turns to one of the most highly respected private investigation firms in South Florida to bring the guilty party to justice.

What investigators Claire Caswell and Gaston Guy Lombard don't know when they take the case is that they aren't the only ones searching for the notorious criminal believed to have fled to the Greek island of Crete. A team of vigilantes with their own form of justice in mind is pursuing him too.

This is the plot behind Marilyn Jax's new mystery novel, "Road to Omalos," a tale influenced by her own investigative experience as a fraud investigator for the state of Minnesota. The main character, Claire Caswell, is a fraud investigator for the state of Florida and she bears a close resemblance to Jax, who during a 20-year career developed a sixth sense to assist in investigating complex cases.

"I learned what to watch for and look for in people operating outside the law. I learned that what motivates people is not always money. Sometimes it's more sinister, like power or control," said Jax. For the villain in "Road to Omalos" it is all three.

The mysterious George Zenonakis was born into one of the richest families in Crete. But all the money in the world couldn't make him happy. Raised without any mother figure in his life, George's childhood had been both difficult and unhappy. His father was wholly disinterested in him as a person. His grandfather exhibited occasional warmth, but was unable to properly care for the attention-starved child. Like many children in this situation, he turned to a life of crime, eventually evolving into a monster that cared about nothing but getting his way.

Until the very end, it seems George's downfall would come at the hands of one of the two groups that had traveled across the globe to find him. But the author slips in a surprise at the end that, so far, none of her readers has seen coming.

"Road to Omalos" is set in Miami and on the Greek island of Crete, places the author has spent time. The book hasn't been out long, but positive reviews are already flooding in.

The US Review of Books said, "Jax's meticulously drawn details entice and enthrall, consistently employing the five senses to bring her literary vision vividly to life. Vibrantly depicted characters often struggle with conscience as they vacillate between virtue and obligation in an array of interlacing subplots that serve to enhance this spellbinding tale of justice, vengeance and vigilantism."

Harry Markopolos, the "Bernard Madoff Whistleblower" and author of No One Would Listen: A True Financial Thriller said, "A first-rate detective story! 'Road to Omalos' is an engrossing detective story, romance, and adventure that takes the reader inside the mind of a sociopathic criminal. I enjoyed it immensely!"

"Marilyn Jax has done it again! The suspense, interplay, and conflict between the characters will keep the reader on edge right up to the brilliant, unexpected, and explosive ending. A Greek thriller," said forensic odontologist Dr. Thomas Rumreich.

"Road to Omalos" is the second book in what Jax says will be a series of mystery novels following the escapades of Claire Caswell and her partner/lover, Gaston Guy Lombard. Her first book, "The Find," published in 2007, is the winner of six book awards, including being named a finalist for the 2008 National Indie Excellence Awards for Best New Fiction and Best Mystery/Suspense/Thriller.

"In each book there will be a unique crime with a specific set of circumstances, and my goal is that readers will learn a lot while enjoying the read," said Jax, who hopes her books, while appealing to all age groups, will particularly inspire younger readers to one day pursue a career in investigative work.

"People will get a strong sense of what it means to be an investigator'"what the work entails. Each novel will provide an inside look into the world of a sleuth. When a case comes your way, where do you begin? What happens when an investigation meets a seemingly insurmountable roadblock? How do you find witnesses when no one is talking? How do you put the pieces together to solve a complex case?"

"Road to Omalos" is a Beaver's Pond Press Book. It retails for $26 and can be purchased through the author's website:, at, and from Barnes and Noble, Borders and other fine booksellers.

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About the Author

Marilyn Jax spent close to 20 years as a senior government enforcement investigator for the State of Minnesota. During that time she investigated multitudes of cases, including acting as a lead investigator on one of the largest real estate fraud cases in Minnesota history. She is also a retired Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE).

Jax enjoys sharing her experience with people interested in investigative work and hopes to inspire young people to pursue a career in fraud investigation. She is the highly acclaimed author of six-time national award winning novel, "The Find." Her second book, "Road to Omalos," was published in June 2010.

Marilyn Jax lives in Minnesota and the Caribbean and spends time in Montana and Miami.