Dead of Night by Michael Stanley Orenda Books July 15th 2018
When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, while searching for her missing colleague. But, within a week, she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that may hold the key to everything. Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the
local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late. She has a shocking story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it…
Fast-paced, relevant and chilling, Dead of Night is a stunning new thriller that exposes one of the most vicious conflicts on the African continent…
Rhinos and their horns are an extremely valuable commodity, worth millions in an underground market, poachers stopping at nothing to garner the huge rewards. We all have an opinion, many agreeing that it is wrong, but do we really know the whole story of poaching in South Africa? Do we know what it means for the people who live there, the poachers, and ultimately, the animals themselves?
Dead of Night is a novel that attempted to tell us the whole story, and it did so in an extremely informative and well balanced way. I learnt things that I had never even considered before, and on many levels it was extremely thought provoking. The facts and information were cleverly interwoven into the thrilling action of the story, never overwhelming the reader and, whilst I am sure Michael Stanley exercised some degree of artistic licence, I am certain that much of what they wrote was based on well -documented reality.
The pace was fast and at times quite frenetic, the action relentless as Crys attempted to track down not only the poachers but also her colleague Michael.
Crys, herself, was one brave and determined character, who would stop at nothing to discover the truth no matter what danger she placed herself in. I loved her quick thinking practicality, but above all her naivety about corruption, the rhino trade and the desperation of the many people who worked in the lodges and game reserves who were willing to risk all, to earn money for their families.
I particularly liked the multi dimensional feel that the characters gave to the novel, who represented the differing factions within the novel, giving it its balanced approach.
What stood out for me was the wonderful settings and in particular, the stunning scenes of Africa, the games reserves and the amazing animals that Crys encountered. I loved the way in which the authors described the beauty of the magnificent elephants and rhino, graceful, yet tinged with a danger possessed by all animals in the wild.
Vietnam may not have had the same beauty and stunning settings as Africa, yet you could still sense the bustling street and wonderful food aromas that Crys encountered.
As I have already mentioned the pace of the novel is frenetic at times and this was especially so as I reached the latter parts. I quickly began to piece all the varying strands together and the authors even threw in a little surprise, that I didn’t guess.
This is a wonderful fast paced novel, with settings that set alight your imagination. It is a novel that not only entertains but informs and one that I enjoyed immensely.
I would like thank Orenda Books for a copy of Dead Of Night to read and review and to Random Things Tours for inviting My Bookish Blogstpot to participate in the blogtour.
About the author
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both
were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a
flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a
wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their
first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the
Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards,
including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and
their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for
an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’
award. Dead of Night is their first stand-alone thriller.
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