BLOODSPOOR by James McVean


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Womanizer Jerry Haston is a white hunter down on his luck, having lost his license after killing one antelope over the limit. Aside from beer, he's full of Burtonesque self-pity and muddled rage but keeps up a facade of light-hearted defiance. The British Foreign Office offers him a deal: his license back and no deportation out of black-ruled Botswana if he will take a small undercover task force into the blistering Kalahari desert and rescue arrogant Alison Welborongh-Smith, a British wildlife author who has been kidnapped while pursuing a black leopard and is being held by terrorists demanding arms for ransom. The 36-year-old spinster is also rumored to have had a brief affair two years earlier with the black leader Mlanda, the very man who has sent his guerrilla unit to take her hostage. But they didn't really make love, and she's only very loosely a hostage--though the ransom demand is real enough. She's allowed to follow her leopard and study its habits, since it is perhaps the rarest creature on earth: a black female looking for a black male to mate with. When Haston rescues Alison in a bloody shootout, she is incensed, refuses to leave, and goes on leopard-watching. But the terrorists return in earnest and Haston must rescue her all over again. Alison and her big cat are attractive indeed, but the men are mainly postures with names attached.

Pub Date: May 1st, 1978
Publisher: Dial