IVORY by Tony Park
Kirkus Star


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A fast-moving thriller set in South Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Alex Tremain is a good guy. Really. He simply needs plenty of quick cash to restore his five-star hotel off the Mozambican coast. So naturally, he becomes a pirate, planning to go strictly legit after a few good scores. He and his band of alpha males hijack the Oslo Star for its cargo of trucks. Then they come upon the reeking hellhole MV Peng Cheng, filled with large, suffering animals, including rhinos and elephants. “This place isn’t just a zoo, it’s a bloody goldmine,” one of Alex’s team exclaims. But that’s nothing. The big money would be in stealing a shipment of ivory, and ship owner Chan asks him to do just that. When Alex expresses moral concerns, Chan jokes “My, my, a pirate with a conscience?” In an especially bloody and disgusting scene, coldblooded hunters slaughter elephants for their ivory. Profiting from such butchery may be too much for Alex, who ponders that there are “degrees of wrongness.” Eventually he wants “out of the piracy game,” though some on his team emphatically disagree. During all of this, the container ship Penfold Son plies the high seas. It’s owned by the three-timing George Penfold, who cheats on his wife and a girlfriend. Jane Humphries works as an attorney for Penfold Shipping and currently sleeps in Penfold’s bed, but will she accept his marriage proposal, or will she come to her senses and mate with a decent pirate like Alex? The action here is crisp and nearly nonstop. Even when the story looks like it’s finally winding down, one last crisis appears.

A compelling tale filled with tension, blood, and a disturbing moral question: will humans stop killing Africa’s large animals before they become extinct?

Pub Date: Nov. 17th, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-250-05559-0
Page count: 464pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2015


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