This was unlike any other fictional mystery book that I have read this year. There are so many facts and realities woven into the tale, it is easy to forget the main protagonists (at least) are not real. It is also the third of a series I had never heard of or read before and despite that, I could keep up with the narrative because for the most part, Jenny Willson keeps reminding us (a couple of times more than required, but that did not change my opinion of the story itself). It might also have helped that Jenny moves to Namibia for the duration of the tale and is far away from her usual surroundings. I can recommend this as a starting point to others like me who have not read this series before. It does contain spoilers for the previous stories (or it felt that way, but I can be only sure of that when I get around to reading the first two books)
This is not a cozy, armchair mystery. It has nail-biting moments, life-threatening ones and a lot of current geopolitics and the ruminations on it by all the main characters. In short, it is a heavy read but not boring by any means, one just has to be prepared for it. Jenny Willson is training in a new course to help implement the new measures the local government is trying to carry out. It all comes down to reducing the poaching in the locality and help preserve the endangered species. She is part of a task force on the trail of the latest spree in the killing of Rhinos for their horns. She has a dedicated team to work through the problems and also delicately maintain local sensibilities (that is, making sure no one gets hurt-emotionally and physically). There are webs in place already from the long-standing tradition of poaching for these horns and it is hard to infiltrate the culprits’ lairs but slowly but surely they work their way towards it.
The only weird thing about the entire book was the use of surnames and first names at different times, even in thought. Sometimes they referred to people with their last names, even if thinking back at a shared occasion and at others, with the first. I lost a little time trying to check if there was a pattern or hidden meaning to the switching between the usages but was unable to find any. That put me off my stride as did a few of the repetitions I mentioned earlier. Without those instances, this was a great book which makes you ‘feel’ even after it is over because it is bigger than us and bigger than just the one case that gets solved within its pages. I highly recommend those on the lookout for some serious mysteries set in a place they might not be familiar with.
I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but the review is completely based on my own reading experience.
It is set to release next month, you can preorder using my affiliate link here: