Murder on Safari: A Thriller
Written by: Peter Riva
Narrated by: R. D. Watson
Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
Release Date:05-19-15Publisher: Audible Studios
Genre: Mystery Thriller
My Rating: 4.5 of 5.0
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.
©2015 Peter Riva (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
Pero Baltazar is a wildlife producer accustomed to working with a close knit TV crew. Mbuno is a long time friend and an expert Safari guide. This trip the crew starts by filming the star, Simon, hang-gliding under the curious gaze of soaring vultures. The filming is good until Simon suffers an ‘accident’. Pero and Mbuno realize that the scene shows more than expected. The two crew land rovers end up fleeing an armed caravan that Pero believes is terrorist related. Pero, who has, for years, quietly and secretly worked with an old college friend at the US State Department, calls in his suspicions.
Pero is determined to find Simon's killer but he keeps the show moving along. The crew picks up Mary, the daughter of a top, highly respected and loved, televangelist, Jimmy Threte. Mary specializes in crocodiles and the team has a program to film her with giant sea crocs in Tanzania. As they move along in their program they dodge a bombing and other threats causing Pero to think fast and keep changing travel plans. Bit by bit clues are revealed that indicate a major terrorist attack is in the works and that Pero's crew has been targeted for getting in the way. Pero is promoted to the position of a field agent out of necessity – there being no other asset near enough to help control the investigation. Pero is distressed at bringing danger to his friends who have a surprising reaction to discovering his secret connections.
Parts of the setting in the story are amazingly beautiful and exotic. Other scenes portray the harsh reality of poverty, divided classes and distinct cultural differences. It took me a little bit to get into the story and the narrator, but after the first hour or so, the mystery and danger really pulled me in. The story is told from Pero's view and he shares background of the country and his friends that adds depth to the story. The second half of the book is amazing as Pero and his friends share clues and work out the details of a multi-tiered attack with a few surprising conspirators. Pero and another friend are the only ones on hand to face down the main threat in an exciting and dangerous aerial fight! Pero and Mbuno are especially wonderful characters, supported by a handful of interesting side characters.
This is a really well plotted thriller and the wildlife details are a wonderful background. I would like to read more suspense by Mr. Riva and wouldn't mind revisiting some of these characters. I highly recommend this book to readers who love a mystery with strong characters and lots of danger and clues to work through.
Audio Notes: I have to admit it took me just under an hour to get accustomed to the narration by R. D. Watson. Once I became more engaged in the story I appreciated the narration. Watson does a good job with most of the accents although the females and American accents are a bit exaggerated. Still, the narration brought the main characters alive, adding to the intensity and intrigue as well as the emotional elements of the story. I recommend the audio to those who like to listen instead of reading – just make sure you push through the first hour or so and then buckle up and enjoy the ride.
I received this for review through I Read Book Tours. It adds to my Audio Challenge.
Buy the book: Amazon Barnes & Noble Chapters/Indigo
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.
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook
The tour schedule can be found at the author's iRead home page.
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