Poisoned Pen, Dec 1 2009, $24.95
The American State Department permits Earth Global CEO Leo Painter, his wife, stepson and other executives to travel to Botswana to negotiate with officials to allow his firm to extract minerals. He believes the mineral rich African country will prove profitable for his energy, mining and realty company. However several of his companions believe Leo is too old and ethical sot hey want to push him aside at the firm along with his spouse. He would like to rest but knows a respite means death from the human hyenas stalking him.
At the same time, Sekeo the elderly lion once ruled his pride with a strong alpha paw or two. However, he is not only turning weak with age, but suffers from HIV/AID, which compounds his health issues. The younger males want to replace him and challenges are coming all the time. He would like to rest but knows a respite means death from the lion hyenas (or the game ranger) stalking him.
With a darker look at human nature than Alexander McCall Smith's genteel "No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" and Michael Stanley's Detective Kubu police procedural, Frederick Ramsay provides a super parable thriller as the king of the jungle rules fleetingly. The story line is fast-paced but it is the cast especially the parallel Leos who meet their respective Snows of Kilimanjaro Hemingway moments that makes for one of the year’s best glimpses at what drives the living.