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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 120 x 180mm
  • Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Corgi Childrens
  • London, United Kingdom
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0552118362
  • 9780552118361

Review Text

Rhodes (Looking for America, Holy Secrets) is a talented writer whose fiction never quite seems to click; this time he has devised a heavy-breathing East African melodrama/love story which suffers sorely from the brooding shadow of Hemingway. (Papa himself shows up for a few pages to bullfight an oversized rhino.) White hunter Seth Crown, the 52-year-old son of American missionaries (who often thinks in monologues much like those of Hemingway's Robert Jordan) is a widower whose Masai wife was murdered years ago - and his half-caste son Joseph, a hothead, has been off on his own for over a decade. But now Seth is at last in love again - with newcomer Cassie Wendhover, an American less than half his age who is recovering from the death of her father. (Seth and Cassie's lovemaking scenes tend to prompt earth-moving rhapsodies.) And now Seth also has a mission: to investigate the beheading of a Dutch scientist in his territory, to hunt down the infamous Rukuma, a Marxist phantom who is murdering folks all over the countryside. Heavy irony awaits, of course: Seth's relentless search at last uncovers what is his personal family tragedy - as he comes face to face with Rukuma/Joseph, who holds Cassie as ransom for his father's life. . . . Rhodes is best here when being most straightforwardly descriptive; the Africa-travelogue interludes are good travelogue. But the Hollywood plot is only aggravated by the labored writer-y effects, which reach a nadir in several pages of lyric flashback as the fatally wounded Seth falls to earth - an attempt to substitute inflated language for real feeling. A gifted writer, still without the right story for his particular talents. (Kirkus Reviews)show more