BLOOD AND FIRE by Nick Brownlee


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An evil development company declares war on its adversaries in Kenya.

In Mombasa, a septuagenarian nun is scourged 39 times until her heart gives out, and a retired Brit reels drunkenly toward a roof edge, then falls off. In New York, wealthy Martha Bentley, ignoring a phone message from an FBI agent, walks into her kitchen and runs into an assassin, who after dispatching her flies off to Kenya to hit another target. Fishing-boat skipper Jake Moore, devastated at the loss of his benefactor and romantic interest Martha, has no idea he may be headed for death as well. Meanwhile, the Jalawi natives cower in front of their huts when members of the Spurling security staff demonstrate just how awful their lives will become if they don’t accede to the Spurling offer to buy their land for a five-star hotel complex, while Detective Inspector Daniel Jouma, Kenya CID, must bide his time when an incompetent higher-up insists he has resolved the Brit’s leap. He’s wrong, of course, and his error leads to more death, including that of Clay Spurling, whose reprobate son Bobby imagines himself fit to take over his father’s land-development empire. Arson, sniper shots, stiletto thrusts and trips through the Mombasa sewers and outlying crocodile swamps complicate matters. Jouma and Jake (Bait, 2009) are dinged up pretty badly, but survive.

Only those with a taste for overblown carnage are likely to stay to the end.

Pub Date: Nov. 9th, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-312-55021-9
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 2010