Monday, August 2, 2010

The Crocodile's Last Embrace-Suzanne Arruda

The Crocodile's Last Embrace
Suzanne Arruda
Obsidian, Sep 7 2010, $15.00
ISBN 9780451231178

In 1921 Lilith Worthy escapes from her London prison. Her intent is to go to Africa to destroy those she blames for enabling Pili, her late husband’s offspring from the wrong side of the sheets, to inherit half his estate. The Widow’s targets are photojournalist Jade del Cameron and her colleagues Lord and Lady Avery Dunbury.

Soon after Lilith’s escape, having returned to Kenya Jade begins to receive messages from overseas allegedly sent by her beloved David, the Widow’s legitimate son. The only problem with the hurtful accusatory notes besides their cruelty is David died in Jade’s arms. At the same time that Jade is the recipient of a personal terror campaign that makes her wish that her boyfriend pilot Sam Featherston was in town, someone murders several people associated with a gold mine deal that obviously has turned ugly.

This is a strong Jade del Cameron historical adventure mystery (see The Serpents’ Daughter, The Leopard’s Prey and Treasure of the Golden Cheetah) in which the dangerous denizen of the jungle like crocs are harmless compared to the even deadlier Homo sapiens. As always in this wonderful series, Suzanne Arruda provides readers with an insightful light on the "Dark Continent". The focus especially is on Kenya as the geography, the assault on the indigent native population by “illegal” Western immigrants, and a deep look at the local customs. All this occurs inside a powerful thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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