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Posted March 1, 2014
MJ Fredrick has become one of my favorite authors, in part because of her ability to write small town or war-torn Africa with equal skill. Don’t Look Back is gritty, realistic—brutal, sometimes, set as it is in Amadan, Africa, where a warlord’s rise to power has savaged the country and those who live in it—including American and native aid workers trying to make a difference.
Dr. Liv Olney hopes the new intruder creeping into her cell—the cell where all the other women have died from their maltreatment—will kill her quickly; she realizes that whether or not he does, death is imminent given her injuries. But the intruder is Ranger Captain Gerardo Delaney—Del—and his mission is to save her.
Against the unthinkable odds for a woman who has survived rape, malnourishment, and bone-breaking torture at the hands of the war lord Wamukota, Liv survives and steels herself against her memories to continue serving her country clandestinely—to aid other women caught up in the hell of brutality. When her best friend—and niece of the President—is captured, she feels terrible guilt—Jill went to Africa after learning of the dire situation women and children were in, hoping to teach school and help change that part of the world.
When Liv decides to return to Amadan, she knows she can only succeed if Del goes with her—but his country betrayed and discarded him, and he might in fact have been killed in the car bomb Wamukota set for him.
Just finding Del would be a story in itself, but the journey of two wounded souls bent on saving another innocent victim and each other is breathtaking, scary, and occasionally—ugly. But the story is also totally honest. No one emerges from violence unscathed, and finding love after experiencing such hatred is a long and treacherous path.
Don’t Look Back will make you cry, hold your breath—and ultimately, be very glad you read it. Another winner by M.J. Fredrick!