Reading The Ultimatum, (MIRABooks, $26.99), an international thriller by Louisville author Karen Robards, shown, is a roller coaster ride of action. From the murder in the first chapter to the cat-and-mouse games throughout, readers will be left breathless and kept guessing as to what could possibly happen next.
The story centers around Bianca St. Ives, or at least that is who she claims to be, a thief who is very good at what she does. She learned from the craftiest thief in the business—her father, a wanted man who always eludes his captors. A master of disguise and well-versed in all the latest 007-type gadgetry, Bianca has been assisting her father in his “work” since she was a little girl. When a job goes awry, though, Bianca is left to solve the mystery of what happened, along with the mystery of her own shattered childhood.
Robards describes Bianca as someone whose “wry wit masks deep psychological scars,” like “Jason Bourne as a femme fatale.” She says Bianca is different from any character she’s written before, explaining, “Bianca came vividly alive for me as I wrote her. I once came across a quote: ‘She needed a hero, so that’s what she became.’ That’s Bianca. Fierce and vulnerable at the same time, she is the hero of her own life and this series, which spans the globe and pits her against dangerous enemies and circumstances that push her considerable skills to the limit.”
Prior to publishing her first book at age 24, Robards was attending law school. Over 50 novels later, she can’t imagine doing anything else.
She has been on the best-seller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today and has been honored with numerous awards throughout her career. Robards and her husband have three sons and a “menagerie of pets.”