Title: Murder on Safari
Author: Peter Riva
Publisher: Yucca Publishing
Publishing Date: 25th April 2015
Rating: 4 Stars
*Thank you to iReadTours for the review copy*
Synopsis: 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.
Review: Murder on Safari by Peter Riva was the first thriller I had read in a long time. At first, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Yet, the nervousness quickly died down and I fell into the story. The novel was full of thrills that kept my emotions charging around at full speed and left me hooked on turning those pages until I reached the end of the book.
The best thing about this novel definitely had to be the pacing. I don’t believe I have ever read a novel which has perfected the art of slowly raising the suspense over time until I reached the climax. In the beginning things seemed to be fairly safe until the first murder occurred and it quickly revealed that secrets, betrayal and manipulation were at play. I was kept guessing as I tried to gather as many of the clues as possible. When everything finally boiled down to the climax, it was deliciously dragged out. There were so many things which could go wrong that kept me at the edge of my seat until the very last turn of the page.
What I also loved about this book had to be the cast of characters that took the forefront. Pero and Mbuno are the main characters – one of them being an America film expert (Pero) and the other being the best hunter there is in Africa. I really loved Mbuno’s simple way of acting and the way we could see his traditions and values really shine through in everything he did. I also liked Pero’s sharp and quick-witted thinking. He may have only been a film expert, but he did know how to adjust to the new situation he found himself in pretty well. Above all, this adjustment stayed believable. But it was not only them that made the crew – There was Heep, Rius and Pritt as well as Mary for some of the time. Each character brought something new to the mix and were given enough backstory for me to care about them and worry about them when they were placed in dangerous situations.
This whole novel was set in Africa and we get to travel through quite a few countries. As well as getting familiar with some of the customs and traditions in these places, we get to see some of the setting and the animals among all the heart-racing action happening. Although I did feel as if I was in Africa and really enjoyed the novel being set somehwere more unique than the usual, I wish there had been a little more focus on it. I wanted to delve just a little deeper into this world.
|That’s how much suspense there really was…
I was a little worried about the film/plane flying talk becoming a little too technical at times. Even though the novel did happen to go quite deep into its descriptions from time to time, for the most part I was incredibly satisfied reading the explanations. I didn’t get bored by them at all and it simply added to the realism of the novel. It was clear the author had done all the research they needed to, and that pleased me.
A very good thriller, that won’t be the last of Riva’s that I read for sure.
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About the Author: Peter Riva has spent many months over 30 years travelling throughout Africa and Europe. Much of this time was spent with the legendary guides for East African hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series in 1995 called Wild Things for Paramount. Passing on the fables, true tales, and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is his passion. Nonetheless, his job for over forty years has been working as a literary agent. In his spare time, Riva writes science fiction and African adventure books. He lives in Gila, New Mexico.
Olivia’s Question: Have you ever been on a safari before? Would you want to go on one?