Only a reality TV producer and an expert safari guide can stop a terrorist attack.
Every adventure starts at the fringes of civilization. For expert safari guide Mbuno and wildlife television producer Pero Baltazar, filming in the wild of East Africa should have been a return to the adventure they always loved. This time they’d be filming soaring vultures in northern Kenya and giant sea crocodiles in Tanzania with Mary, the daughter of the world’s top television evangelist, the very reverend Jimmy Threte.
But when a terrorist cell places them in the crosshairs, there is suddenly no escape and they must put their filming aside and combine all their talents to thwart an all-out al-Shabaab terrorist attack on Jimmy Threte’s Christian gathering of hundreds of thousands in Nairobi, Kenya.
The problem is, Pero has a secrethe's been working as a clandestine courier for the US State Department for years. If anyone finds out, it may get them all killed. Exciting and expertly plotted, Murder on Safari is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat thriller set in the great wide-open plains of East Africa.
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About the Author
Peter Riva spent many months over thirty years in Africa, many of them with the legendary guides for East African white hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series (seventy-eight 1-hour episodes) in 1995 called WildThings for Paramount TV. Passing on the fables, true tales and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is a passion.
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Murder on Safari
By Peter Riva
Skyhorse PublishingCopyright © 2015 Peter Riva
All rights reserved.
The Ajuran Plateau
Every adventure in the wild starts at the fringes of civilization. For a seasoned safari guide like Mbuno, the dirt-filled concrete island separating the car park from the main terminal of Nairobi Airport represented a no-man's land separating his escape back to the wild and the full-on Western chaos seen before him that he had no desire to cross into. His graying eyes carefully scanned the hustle and bustle of tourists hauling overstuffed hard-sided suitcases with uncertain wheels across the broken pavement as they exited into the equatorial sun from the smelly, packed, customs' hall. Even from there as he sat cross-legged atop an aging, dented, dark green, long-wheelbase, safari Land Rover, he could smell the baggage porters' sweat from too many Tusker beers the night before, thin wisps of tourists' perfume splashed on to disguise ten-hour flight odor, and the pungent smell of sandalwood oil used as polish throughout the airport, mixed odors now outgassing with the stampede of tourists eager to experience the "real Africa" the holiday brochures promised.
Patiently, like the Waliangulu expert tracker he was, his mind's eye had a fixed image of his prey; the faces, shapes, and baggage of the people he was there to collect. As the late morning sun beat at his back, there was not a breath of wind, not a cloud in the sky, but his eyes never blinked, his gaze never averted.
In the maelstrom before him, the airport swinging glass doors blinked reflected visions of milling people about to emerge. Once outside, the newcomers were descended upon by matatu drivers, unlicensed taxis, and hotel minivan drivers, ready to whisk the passengers away to the eagerly awaited sanctity of the urban reality to be found in Nairobi, the long lost white hunter Mecca of Hemingway, Holden, Roosevelt, and countless other African adventurer legends.
Mbuno had been through the airport customs' hall many times returning from safari in distant lands outside of Kenya. As he waited, seated on the ticking aluminum shell of the Land Rover's roof, ever intent on the flickering arrivals before him, he imagined, accurately, what the crew he awaited was facing inside.
Off conveyor belts in the sweltering baggage hall in Kenyatta International Airport, the man he was there to collect, Pero Baltazar was searching for his television production colleagues while keeping an eye out for the customs agent hired to help clear the pile of filming equipment, shipped as expensive checked overweight luggage instead of freight. In the button-down side pocket of his safari jacket, Pero no doubt had the bills of lading as well as copies of the original purchase/rental orders for all the equipment, the commercial insurance, the packing lists for each case and, of course, the certificates of origin. As the lone producer for this television shoot, all this paperwork, as well as the crew's safety, was his responsibility, Mbuno knew, just as he knew the customs officials hoped to catch a mzungu — a white man — without proper paperwork. Mbuno smiled, knowing Baltazar was surely prepared; he always had been before.
Mbuno also imagined Pero's partner Bill "Heep" Heeper, somewhere in the melee, one sloped shoulder from decades of video work, possibly secretly illegally filming the customs' hall chaos, catching the slight panic of some of the tourists at the "otherness" of the people all around them, the jumble of luggage spilling out and off conveyors, and the swagger of the customs officials. Pero would spot Heep and signal him over and, above all, get him to stop filming before someone confiscated the camera.
A tough but elegant and talented Dutchman, with sun-bleached hair, Pero's partner Heep had been born in the shadow of Hitler, seen his relatives hauled off to concentration camps and, as soon as he could, learned a trade that matched his desire to "get to the land of the free." Once he had become indispensable to documentary filmmakers in Hollywood, he spent most of his time traveling the world as an award-winning cameraman and, lately, as an equally talented director of the partners' joint filming assignments. Mbuno liked him and importantly, trusted Heep's instincts in the wild. Of course, it would be Mbuno's job to keep the crew from getting injured or worse once they reached remote locations in the bush. Filming wildlife was always risky, but for over twenty years Mbuno had seen to it that his charges were protected.
Heep spoke four languages, Mbuno knew and was, always, under-spoken, professional, and determined. Over the years, Pero had found that Heep wasn't a man to cross. In the field, if kept supplied with whatever he needed, he stayed happy and efficient. If anyone on a shoot showed any accidental incompetence, he could blow a fuse. Mbuno had worked with them both and knew the score.
Coupled with the equatorial light dimly filtering in from overhead skylights, the fetid air in the crowded hall and the slightly heady 5,000 feet in altitude would give some people second thoughts about the safari of a lifetime. It always happened — Mbuno and the filmmakers had seen it all before. He watched a woman emerging uncertainly from the glass doors. She was set upon by taxi drivers plying their trade, grabbing her luggage and flight bag. Dressed in Florida pink shorts and pink T-shirt, dropping her oversized sunglasses on the ground, she began crying on the shoulder of her equally garish female companion: "I want to go home!"
Mbuno raised his voice, "Koma! Acha peke-ake!" (Stop! Leave her alone).
The taxi drivers looked towards the car park at the elder sitting on an official Land Rover. Mbuno's voice carried authority. One tourist was not worth trouble. They backed away from the women and turned towards the next gaggle coming through the doors, Japanese tourists with phrase books open and ready. The woman comforting the crying lady in pink waved and smiled at Mbuno who simply nodded and went back to his vigil.
Mbuno knew that Pero, unlike some of these first time visitors, would be happy to be back in Africa, especially East Africa and Kenya in particular. He loved the fringe of civilization. He always told Mbuno that it made him feel he was about to get off, get out, get away, at least for a while. Mbuno smiled at a memory of the expression both Heep and Pero used: "Stop the world, we're getting off."
Mbuno had read the advance material Pero had sent him via mail to Giraffe Manor where he now lived. Every TV or film crew Mbuno had taken charge of always used the same terms: "Filming, indeed even stepping into Africa, is forbidding and dangerous; the Edge of the Wild will take viewers beyond belief." The more danger they packed in the script, the more likely the sponsors would ante up the money needed to have the cable network agree to send them on filming adventures. Pero and Heep had explained on a time-lag phone line that they wanted to be out in the wilds of Kenya, away from the choking stench of the cities, making contact with native people, animals, and an especially dangerous seagoing crocodile — capturing the last vestiges of the Earth's wildlife on camera. Every year, "wild" was becoming harder to find. In truth, all three men were a little depressed that, all over the planet, zoos were springing up masquerading as National Parks and wildlife refuges. The whole of Africa was on the verge of "wild" extermination — the result of tourist dollars, industrial powers' exploitation, and locally rocketing populations.
What Pero's team were making was supposed to be "commercial wildlife genre" TV. In reality, it was repackaged, in-your-face, human stories in which the animals played only a supporting role. None of the team was fooled. They had cashed the checks and enjoyed the ride before and would do it again. Pero's personally stated justification was a man has to eat, so he might as well enjoy the process. The awards and Emmy nominations only stroked the ego — even if it was a bit hypocritical. Mbuno knew that as Pero was the creator and producer, he would — sometimes — become the general whipping boy for the cable network accountants fighting over expense billing, even down to the price of bottled water in foreign hotels. Somehow, Pero seemed to roll with the petty times to enjoy the richness of the last of the wild with his friend Mbuno and his colleague Heep.
From behind the Land Rover, an unfamiliar Indian voice cut through Mbuno's attention, "Mzee Mbuno?" Using the honorific term "elder" in Swahili made Mbuno smile and wave the man forward, so he could see both him and the crowds. "I most sincerely apologize for keeping you waiting ..." The Schenker badge on the Indian man's jacket identified him as the film crew's customs agent. The man was, as usual, clutching a folder stuffed with paperwork. "I have arranged for the transfer of the equipment as arranged to Wilson airport within three hours of clearance here. It took about fifteen minutes longer than expected because Mr. Pero and Mr. Heep had to explain all the equipment items to the Customs officials, a very serious waste of time, of course." Mbuno knew Pero had used this agent before and that all would be delivered, on time, to the private plane charter the crew was catching in three hours. As the agent waved goodbye and hurried off, clutching his folder, Mbuno caught first sight of Pero as the team emerged into the sun. The taxi jackals crowded in for the kill. Mbuno's sharp ears picked up Pero's barked "Basi, rufi!" (Enough, go away) and Mbuno smiled and stood up on the roof of the Land Rover, waving slowly.
Pero looked over the heads of the crowd and saw the small car park beyond that was full of the nowusual exotic mixture of European cars and off-road vehicles. Once this would have been the exclusive province of Land Rover, but now there were Toyotas, Nissans, BMWs, Mercedes, Isuzus, and Mitsubishi. The dark green beaten-up old Land Rover with Mbuno waving on top almost looked out of place, a sign of safaris past. To Pero, the seemingly ageless man had been waiting for them to arrive, he knew, his graying hair shining in the morning sun. To Pero, Mbuno was slowly becoming equally anachronistic in the sea of modern East Africa streaming from the Terminal eager to see wildlife from the safety of zebra-painted minivans, AC running, windows firmly closed against exposure to the land. Images, cameras, were everything, the real experience sanitized, safe.
"Mbuno, good to see you," Pero called and waved.
"And you too, Mr. Pero, and you, Mr. Heep, jambo!" Mbuno answered as he climbed down off the roof, his smile and extended hand showing true welcome. They shook hands, swapped grips to lock thumbs, then grasped forearms, then let go, laughed, and hugged. Clearly old friends, Pero and then Heep patted the aging Mbuno's back as Mbuno opened the passenger door.
A slim man of thirty-five emerged and said, "Simon Thomson, Kenya Parks Service," sticking out his hand. Simon was well known in wildlife circles as a crazy Kenyan who studied the flight patterns of birds of prey by soaring with them in a blue hang glider. The extremely long glider was strapped to the Land Rover's roof. Simon saw Pero and Heep studying it and commented, "Like a bat, with 'er wings folded."
Pero raised his eyebrows. In anticipation of the unasked question, Simon replied,
"Mbuno here has reserved a four fouteeen," he meant a Cessna 414, which seated ten, "she'll fit up the aisle, no problem."
Nodding, Heep replied, "Well, you're both efficient, thanks Simon, glad to have you on board."
"Always wanted footage of me floating up there with the birds, you promised I could have a copy ..." In accepting the shoot, he had faxed that he was going to use it to renew his research funding from Princeton University in New Jersey.
Pero nodded, "Yes, I promise. But I've gone one further. My father has a friend on the Board of Trustees at Princeton — he's going to screen it for the committee personally."
"Oh, that'll be fine, really fine, I very much appreciate it."
"And you'll get your full fee as well. They play fair, Simon."
He smiled, "So I've heard, word gets around. Mbuno here chooses his friends carefully." Mbuno nodded. "Now, who are these chaps?"
Heep explained that one crewmember was a South African originally from Madagascar, Ruis Selby, the other a friend of Heep's from Holland, Priit Vesilind. Everyone shook hands and repeated jambos. Mbuno had difficulty with Priit's name, pronouncing it, "Mr. Preet."
Priit thought that was fine. "What tribe are you from, Mr. Mbuno?"
In his singsong voice, Mbuno explained, "I am Liangulu, but we are not wanted as a tribe anymore. Our village is now part of national park land." He said it in a sad way, so the men knew that Liangulu tribal life was probably irrevocably changed, perhaps not for the better. These wildlife crewmen had seen the demise of tribes all over the world, knew the score. Priit, impressed with Mbuno's command of English and what was clearly Pero and Heep's regard for this small elder tribesman, had to ask, "How'd you fellows all hook up?"
On the way into Nairobi, Pero explained some of the jobs to Priit that he'd been on with Mbuno. He focused on the ex-elephant hunter story about Mbuno, now turned expert safari and film guide. He focused on Mbuno's cadre of clients, the high and wealthy, all of whom put their complete trust in the little Liangulu ex-elephant hunter. All true, but it wasn't the whole truth. Mbuno stayed silent.
Simon, of course, knew Mbuno's off-the-record story, being a Kenyan. The one where Mbuno saved a herd of elephants from slaughter and his tribe from banishment. That sort of gossip traveled fast, especially when a native managed to outfox corruption at the highest government level. Simon was sure Mbuno was formidable as a friend or enemy.
As for Ruis, he and Pero had been in-country together with Mbuno years ago. Ruis knew bits of Mbuno's other story too. After all, he had seen Mbuno talk to elephants, calming them, for a better film shot. Ruis was in no doubt; there was more to the man than Pero was explaining to Priit. Ruis, like Heep and Pero before him, knew he could depend on Mbuno's bush skills, his Liangulu expertise, and his ages-old native knowledge.
Mbuno's tribe was called Waliangulu, which means "people of the Liangulu." Waliangulu were traditional elephant hunters, had been for tens of thousands of years. Mbuno could still track, on foot, and hunt rogue elephant with a bow and arrow. This mere man with generational elephant understanding and skills, when stood up against a five-ton African elephant, was more than a fair match.
Before civilization replaced nature's way of controlling wildlife, Africa was in balance with nature. If a tribesman needed meat, he went out and hunted. The most tender prey is always a young animal. However, a traditional hunter cannot get near to the young, protected by the herd, try as they might, so they settle on what they can approach. When armed with bow and arrow, or spear, on foot, hunters were always faced down by the old male or female protector of the herd. A test of wills and skills took place and, most of the time, the hunter usually prevailed, a tribute to the ingenuity of man. The old antelope or buffalo or elephant was consumed, every bit used, not a scrap left. The ivory was to trade for cloth or grain, the rest consumed or made into tools, hides or jerky. The old hunted elephant was probably sterile. The younger male or female that replaced it as herd leader bred the herd up, not down. Primordial wildlife in Africa once thrived because nature used to be in balance, a contest of skills.
Modern East Africa has different ideas. To preserve tourism, one by one governments had declared all hunting illegal, additionally wiping out the only traditional source of income and a way of life for tribes like Mbuno's.
That didn't mean the Waliangulu hunters lost their skills. The greatest of them became trophy taletellers at the National Park campsites and hotels. Some were easy recruiting targets for the poaching gangs using AK-47s to slaughter whole herds. A few of them, like Mbuno, found other employment for their skills, taking people out on safari who wanted to be away from civilization, even if only for a few weeks at a time, on the fringes of the old hunting grounds, where civilization had not quite arrived, yet. He had taken out royalty, billionaires, actors, writers, tourists from Japan and, for many years, Pero's film crews. Mbuno had outlived all the older Waliangulu traditional hunters. He was now considered legendary. Pero and Heep considered him vital to any filming in Africa. They had been through this type of shooting safari before and knew they could trust him, with their lives if necessary.
Simon drove the long-wheelbase Land Rover with all the vents closed and the heating roaring, until Pero turned it off. It was morning and, being a Kenyan, Simon was feeling the cold. Pero was in the middle and Mbuno on the left. Pero and Mbuno exchanged news. Pero learned of his wife, Niamba, doing well at Giraffe Manor and Mbuno talked about the pending drought.
Excerpted from Murder on Safari by Peter Riva. Copyright © 2015 Peter Riva. Excerpted by permission of Skyhorse Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
ContentsChapter 1 The Ajuran Plateau,
Chapter 2 North of Wajir,
Chapter 3 Chief Methenge,
Chapter 4 Ramu,
Chapter 5 Nairobi,
Chapter 6 The US Embassy,
Chapter 7 Wilson Airport,
Chapter 8 Arusha,
Chapter 9 Pangani,
Chapter 10 Pangani Beach,
Chapter 11 Rudolf's Croc Farm,
Chapter 12 Mashangalikwa,
Chapter 13 Moshi,
Chapter 14 Kilimanjaro,
Chapter 15 Karen Duka,
Chapter 16 Flightline,
Chapter 17 Ngong,
Chapter 18 Gas Depots,
Chapter 19 Aero Club,
Chapter 20 Ndugu,
Chapter 21 Mungu La-Ubawa,
Chapter 22 Aga Kahn Hospital,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I really enjoy thrillers and this book definitely fell into that category with an on-the-edge-of-your-seat plot. I also have a love for Africa, so the title of the book drew me in. A TV crew, filming in the African safari, unexpectedly becomes involved in terrorist activity. While shooting a paragliding scene, they inadvertently stumble upon a secret camp visible only from the air. This puts them in immediate danger. The thrill continues as they race across Africa attempting to flee from their pursuers and hoping the threat is diminished. Freak accidents continue to occur, although it is to be determined whether these are coincidental or intentional. Can they escape with the crew's lives intact? The excitement and adventure in this book were great. And if I reviewed the book solely based on the author's talent in writing and ability I think I would gladly give the book minimum of four stars. Personally though, I struggled to get through this book because it contained a lot of profanity. And not just common swear words but taking the Lord's name in vain, which as a Christian is very disturbing to me. Usually as a reviewer I stick mostly to Christian genre because that keeps me within my comfort zone. This time I stepped out a bit. So, I am not going to reduce the number of stars I am giving this book, but I am going to say this, if you are uncomfortable reading a book with a lot of language in it, this book is not for you. If you enjoy thrillers and that doesn't bother you, you will probably enjoy this one. This author certainly has a talent and experience for writing daring escapades. I received this book from ireadsbooktours in exchange for my honest opinion.
Murder on Safari by Peter Riva (a thriller) is book one in the Pero Baltazar series. This series is not one the reader has to read in order. I have actually read the second one in the series before this one. This book centers on the television producer Pero Baltazar, who is filming in the area of East Africa. In the middle of this wonderful trip, the characters end up in the crosshairs of a terrorist group and there seems to be nowhere to escape. No one seems to know who the true target is, Pero, Mary or both. Mary is a crocodile expert and the daughter to a TV evangelist. To make matters more thrilling, Pero has a secret he is hiding from the rest of the group. If this secret is revealed to anyone, it would get the entire group killed. This book does start a little slow. The author is building who the characters are and what they are doing so it is understandable. The book becomes better and better as the book progresses. There were still some slow parts in the book but for the most part it was a good book. I love how the author uses the Africa landscape. He really does a great job painting a picture of what Africa looks like to those of us who have never been. This book is filled with twists and turns that will keep the reader on their feet. The book has a few curse words in it. It use d* several times. It also uses b*d, b* and h*. It does use the Lord’s name in vain. I do recommend this book to those who like thrillers. As I mentioned before this book does start out slow but do not give up on it. It will get better. For me it is a solid four out of five star book. I received this book from iRead Book tours for an honest review.
Peter Riva in his new book, “Murder on Safari” Book One in the Pero Baltazar Series published by Yucca Publishing gives us Terrorists are planning an attack and time is running out!. From the back cover: Only a reality TV producer and an expert safari guide can stop a terrorist attack. Every adventure starts at the fringes of civilization. For expert safari guide Mbuno and wildlife television producer Pero Baltazar, filming in the wild of East Africa should have been a return to the adventure they always loved. This time they’d be filming soaring vultures in northern Kenya and giant sea crocodiles in Tanzania with Mary, the daughter of the world’s top television evangelist, the very reverend Jimmy Threte. But when a terrorist cell places them in the crosshairs, there is suddenly no escape and they must put their filming aside and combine all their talents to thwart an all-out al-Shabaab terrorist attack on Jimmy Threte’s Christian gathering of hundreds of thousands in Nairobi, Kenya. The problem is, Pero has a secret—he’s been working as a clandestine courier for the US State Department for years. If anyone finds out, it may get them all killed. Exciting and expertly plotted, Murder on Safari is a gripping, edge-of-your-seat thriller set in the great wide-open plains of East Africa Welcome to Pero Baltazar, wildlife television producer. You wouldn’t think that he could get into a terrorist plot but that would be so wrong. It just comes down to this there is going to be a terrorist plot. Baltazar and his group have stumbled upon it. Now it comes down to they have to stop this terrorist plan while the terrorists want to kill them all to stop them. Get ready Mr. Riva has given us a fast-paced thriller. “Murder on Safari” is loaded with twists and turns that will leave you guessing all the while you are flipping pages to find out what happens next. this book is going to take up all of your attention so start reading early because once you get started you will not want to put this book down until you actually finish. I am looking forward to the next book in this series. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from IRead Book Tours. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Africa is my husband's bucket list I LOVE watching the show National Geographic on the TV especially with wild animals in the safari with my husband and sometimes with my kids. It is very educational at the same time very mesmerizing to watch. It feels like you are glued on the TV and will never want to miss a thing. Africa is my husband's bucket list. He loves the wild animals so as the outdoors. I hope that my husband's bucket list to visit Africa will come true in the future. Murder On Safari is what intrigues me to read the book in behalf of my husband. This book is so good to read. It feels like you are inside the scenes while reading the story. The author Mr. Peter Riva is a phenomenal writer. He did amazing job writing this book. My very first time to read his writing. I cannot wait to read more of his books in the future. The book is hard to put it down. You do not want to miss any moment and find out until the last page of the book. It makes your heart pumping up so fast. The adrenaline to find out the killer is so exciting that you do not want to take breaks but no choice but have to. This book is a must read if you love wild animals, adventures, politics and a trip to Africa without living your house. Disclosure: I received the paperback copy from iRead Book Tours. All my thoughts and opinions for the review is 100% honestly mine.
I love books that take place in Africa, it’s such a beautiful and mysteries place and I’ve always wanted to travel there. I don’t watch a lot of reality TV any more but a few years ago I did and loved shows like Survivor and The Amazing Race so when I read the synopsis I was very intrigued to give this book a shot! Murder on Safari by Peter Riva is the story of Pero Baltazar, a wildlife film producer who’s filming vultures in Northern Kenya along with his right-hand man and expert safari guide, Mbuno. When the crew discovers one of their own has died mysteriously they decide to leave the area, and quickly. But the trouble isn’t over and follows them as they move on to Tanzania and begin filming large sea crocodiles that inhabit the area. They also begin working with Mary, a world-renowned crocodile expert and daughter of TV evangelist, Jimmy Threte. When a terrorist cell begins targeting their group they’re unsure who the true target is; Pero, Mary, or both. First of all, this book is extremely well written. I loved Riva’s in depth descriptions of Africa, this was definitely the highlight of the book for me and you can tell that his real life experiences played a huge part in some of the settings within the story. All of the characters he’s created, main as well as side, were extremely well developed making it very easy to immerse myself within the folds of the plotlines. I cared about these people and wanted to know what would ultimately happen to each one of them. This book starts out slowly but it’s a plus in this case because it really allows the suspense to build throughout, I loved this style. Murder on Safari is a fantastic, suspenseful novel that really kept me on my toes with the intricate plot twists and turns. If you enjoy thrillers that are mixed with adventure and set in exotic locations then this is definitely the book for you and I highly recommend it! I guarantee that you’ll want to travel to Africa and see for yourself the beautiful locations described in this story, I know I do more than ever. This was my first book by Peter Riva and I look forward to reading his other novels in the very near future. Many thanks to Laura of iRead Book Tours for inviting me to participate in this tour and for providing me with a complimentary, paperback copy of Murder on Safari in exchange for my honest review!
Pero Baltazar, a film producer, arrives in East Africa, along with his crew, to film a nature show about vultures and giant crocodiles. Upon their arrival they are met by Mbuno, a top rate safari guide and someone Pero has worked with numerous times. The plan is for a crew member to fly with the vultures in his hang glider. It’ll be spectacular. Filming goes great. But the crew member never lands at the rendevous spot. Pero discovers his body, riddled with bullets. He allows the scavengers to mutilate the body so that it will look like an accidental death. This way, the family can collect the insurance money, and whoever killed his crew member won’t know their identities. The show must go on, so Pero takes the hang glider up for some final shots. He sees an encampment below. They are probably the terrorists who killed his crew member. If he can see them, they can’t miss him, hanging in the sky like a giant raptor. He rushes to land and the crew load up and get out fast. The plan is to go to the next location, filming crocodiles. Perhaps if they look like they are continuing on their schedule, the terrorists won’t pursue them. It seemed like a good plan. The author’s descriptions of Africa are riveting. I’ve always wanted to visit, and hope to do so someday. The multitude of characters keep you entertained, the plot is intriguing and believable, and the suspense builds, keeping you flipping the pages for the final outcome. This is my first book by Peter Riva and I’ll be reading more.
I loved reading about the African desserts, the locations, the people, the views. I could picture it all in my head and made me want to visit there (minus the shufti.) I fell in love with Mbuno instantly and knew that I would love to spend a safari with him. He reminds me of myself. We may be quiet, but we hear and see all. I felt for a thriller, the ‘action’ was a little slow. Don’t get me wrong, there were areas that definitely got my heart rate up, but when I think of thriller, I think of ‘on the edge of my seat’ a lot. I didn’t feel that with this book. I guess in that rate, I wouldn’t call it a thriller necessarily because it felt misleading to the thriller genre, but was a great read all in the same. All in all, I enjoyed the book, the story, the setting, and would recommend this read to someone who enjoys reading, enjoys reading about other locations, and enjoys mystery with a bit of suspense.
Riva’s intricate descriptions bring East Africa to life in a very vivid manner. It creates the perfect backdrop for this story. He combines the adventure of experiencing the area with the suspense of the terrorist plot unfolding amidst the characters. I enjoyed the way that the plot did unfold. It was as if everything was culminating in a slow boil. The slow development allowed the suspense to simmer throughout. The characters that Riva has created definitely did the story justice. The individuals were well developed, highlighting the cultural differences while having a personality all of their own. I enjoyed getting to know them, becoming wrapped up in their lives and their plights. As a whole, this was a remarkably suspenseful novel that kept me on my toes. I loved travelling across the world through Riva’s words. Please note that I received a complimentary copy of this work in exchange for an honest review.
I got the audio version of this book. Which by the way narrator, R.D. Watson is really good. I have listened to some narrators that have a monotone voice that could put you to sleep, no matter how good or bad the book is written. Then there are other narrators that being the story to life. This is what Mr. Watson did for this book. To be honest, while I liked listening to this book, if I had been reading it I might have given up on it. There were points that even while listening to Mr. Watson reading the story that I felt it droned on and the story slowed down and lost some of the excitement and action. Yet again, it was for Mr. Watson that I did stick with listening to this book. Well this reason and I did feel that Mr. Riva could tell a good story. He made East Africa come alive. It was like I was instantly transported to East Africa and could see the movie of this book playing out in my head. While I may not have loved this book I would check out other books by Mr. Riva and also listen to more audio books narrated by Mr. Watson.