When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, but within a week she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that she doesn’t want, but can’t get rid of… Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late, both for the rhinos and for her. She has a powerful story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it… Fast-paced, relevant and chilling, Dead of Night is a stunning new thriller from Michael Stanley, author of the award-winning Detective Kubu series, introducing an intriguing new protagonist, while exposing one of the most vicious conflicts on the African continent…
I would like to thank the author’s, publisher and blog tour organiser Anne Cater for the ARC in return for an honest review.
Dead of the Night is an exciting thriller that takes us from America, to South Africa and Vietnam. It is written by the writing team Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip, authors of the much loved Detective Kubu series of crime fiction.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, simply because it had me compulsively turning the pages. It made me long to walk in of Crystal Nguyen’s footsteps and visit the lands brought so vividly to life by Michael Stanley. But most of all, it kept me guessing the outcome right to the final paragraph. The author’s managed to trick me on numerous occassions, I learned not to trust my first reaction to a character, yet they still fooled me, tricked me into complacency, even after I learned to be wary of first impressions.
I loved Crystal who is a fantastic combination of so many characteristics, bravery, honesty, foolhardy at times, a poor judge of character at others, yet determined and resilient. I found it impossible not to want her to survive the treachery of those she encounters, as she tries to find her friend Michael and save endangered Rhino from further attack. Her keen intelligence is weighed equally with a recklessness that sees her in danger throughout the novel.
The writing style is rich with descriptive detail of the lands the novel was set in and drew me into the story. I loved how I could feel the African sickness along with Crystal, how a land so rich in beauty, is plagued by corruption and violence, yet the rich tapestry of the wilderness wrapped me in its embrace. I loved how the writers, wove all these elements and delivered a story that was a real page turner and yet encouraged me to wallow not just the story itself, but lands so different to my own.
Why would I recommend this book to other readers? Simply because it is exciting, has great characterisation and is set amongst lands that will fascinate and beguile you.
About the author’s.
Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. Stanley was an educational psychologist, specialising in the application of computers to teaching and learning, and is a pilot. Michael specialises in image processing and remote sensing, and teaches at the University of the Witwatersrand.
On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill, and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That gave them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective ‘Kubu’ Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writers’ award.
The authors can be followed on Twitter.