On Sale: April 07, 2015
Published by : Alibi
In a blockbuster debut thriller brimming with majestic wildlife, village politics, and international intrigue, a chilling quadruple homicide raises the stakes in the battle to save Africa’s elephants.
Still grieving over the tragic death of her fiancé, American wildlife biologist Catherine Sohon leaves South Africa and drives to a remote outpost in northeast Namibia, where she plans to face off against the shadowy forces of corruption and relentless human greed in the fight against elephant poaching. Undercover as a census pilot tracking the local elephant population, she’ll really be collecting evidence on the ruthless ivory traffickers.
But before she even reaches her destination, Catherine stumbles onto a scene of horrifying carnage: three people shot dead in their car, and a fourth nearby—with his brain removed. The slaughter appears to be the handiwork of a Zambian smuggler known as “the witchdoctor,” a figure reviled by activists and poachers alike. Forced to play nice with local officials, Catherine finds herself drawn to the prickly but charismatic Jon Baggs, head of the Ministry of Conservation, whose blustery exterior belies his deep investment in the poaching wars.
Torn between her developing feelings and her unofficial investigation, she takes to the air, only to be grounded by a vicious turf war between competing factions of a black-market operation that reaches far beyond the borders of Africa. With the mortality rate—both human and animal—skyrocketing, Catherine races to intercept a valuable shipment. Now she’s flying blind, and a cunning killer is on the move.
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Escaping from a tragedy, wildlife biologist Catherine Sohon takes a position as an elephant census pilot in a remote Namibian outpost. However, Catherine really wants to be looking for evidence of the illegal ivory trade. Before even reaching her destination she stumbles upon a murder in which the murderers appear to be smugglers and might have been murdered by a witch doctor. When Catherine finally reaches her destination, she does not get the warmest welcome by Jon Baggs, the head of the Ministry of Conservation, but delves deep into the investigation of ivory trade and poachers, nonetheless. Catherine soon finds herself in over her head chasing a dangerous murderer.
Thrilling and powerful, I was swept into the wilds of Africa with Catherine. Catherine was fearless in her undertaking in the wilds of Africa, although scarred from the recent death of her fiancé. I loved that she was brave enough to go out independently, skillfully shoot a gun and fly a plane and do her best to relate to the variety of character she meets. Most of all I enjoyed the honest view of Namibia and the descriptions of the vast wildlife and animal behaviors. I appreciated that the author definitely knew what she was talking about in terms of animal biology without being overbearingly scientific. The thriller aspect of the story was fast paced and kept me on the edge of my seat. I can’t wait to see what is up for Catherine next!
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
A world-renowned expert on elephants, Caitlin O’Connell holds a Ph.D. in ecology and is a faculty member at the Stanford University School of Medicine as well as director of life sciences for HNu Photonics. She is the author five nonfiction books about elephants, including the internationally acclaimed The Elephant’s Secret Sense, An Elephant’s Life, A Baby Elephant in the Wild, and Elephant Don, and co-author of the award-winning The Elephant Scientist. She is the co-founder and CEO of Utopia Scientific, a nonprofit organization dedicated to research and science education, and the co-founder of Triple Helix Productions, a global media forum with a mandate to develop more accurate and entertaining science content for the media. When not in the field with elephants, O’Connell divides her time between San Diego, California, and Maui, Hawaii, with her husband, Tim Rodwell, and their dog, Frodo.