Frustrated suffragette and would-be archaeologist Ellie Mallory stumbles across a map to a city that shouldn't exist, a jungle metropolis alive and flourishing centuries after the Mayan civilization mysteriously collapsed. Discovering it would make her career, but Ellie isn't the only one after the prize. A disgraced professor and his ruthless handler are hot on her heels, willing to go any extreme to acquire the map for themselves.
To race them through the uncharted jungle, Ellie needs a guide. The only one with the expertise is maverick surveyor Adam Bates. But with his determination to nose his way into Ellie's many secrets, Bates is a dangerous partner.
As Ellie gets closer to her goal, she realizes it's not just her ambitions at stake. A powerful secret lies hidden in the heart of the city - and if it falls into the wrong hands, it could shake the very fate of the world.
Eleanora Mallory has worked very hard to get her civil service job but she longs to be out in the field working at dig sites and making discoveries. On the very day she loses her job because she was arrested (as part of a women's rights protest), she finds an old prayer book with a map and mysterious object hidden inside. She takes it home with her to investigate further but her actions are the start of a dangerous journey as the map could lead to a lost city of gold and there are those who would kill to get it. Ellie grudgingly realizes she needs help so she reluctantly hires surveyor Adam Bates as her guide. She finds Bates infuriating and attractive in equal measure though she won't admit that even to herself.
The Smoke Hunter reminded me of both the Indiana Jones films and The Mummy. There is action, adventure, a little bit of history and some romance. The novel doesn't take itself too seriously and that is part of the fun. I liked Ellie as a protagonist. She is smart and brave and while she still has much to learn she proves that the men underestimate her. Bates is pretty much Indiana Jones with a dash of Han Solo, especially when he starts calling Ellie "Princess" to annoy her. I enjoyed the interaction between Ellie and Bates and the adventure scenes especially after they arrive at the city. I found this story to be highly entertaining and a quick read.
If you liked The Mummy and the Indiana Jones movies consider adding The Smoke Hunter to your reading list. Other similar books include A Curious Beginning and Night of a Thousand Stars by Deanna Raybourn. Note: I received an ARC for review purposes courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss