August saw the release of Safari, Tony Park's 4th action adventure thriller which is again set in Africa and, like his other 3 books, Far Horizon, Zambezi and African Sky, combines the wonder of the untamed wilds of the continent with a solidly crafted thriller.
In this case the setting is initially Zimbabwe with comment made on the plight of the African wild dog before moving on to the Democratic Republic of Congo where we are introduced to the mountain gorillas that inhabit the region.
Poaching of the African wildlife has long been a problem with the numbers of many animal species now severely depleted. Park uses the poaching issue coupled with the troubled living conditions in Zimbabwe following the devastation caused by political turmoil in the country as the founding fact upon which the story is set.
Legal hunting versus illegal poaching - it seems to be a matter of semantics except that it is legal to shoot a poacher if it is considered that it is done in self defence. A good proportion of the book is about this fine distinction and forms the basis of a fascinating thriller as the confrontations begin to take place.
Safari takes you to an exotic location and Park does an outstanding job of seducing you with the majesty of the setting through his superior descriptive prose. If you like to travel the world vicariously through books reading Safari will give you a great feel for Zimbabwe. Chuck in a horrifying scenario of murder and outlandish criminal behaviour as well as a complicated romantic interlude and you've got another highly compelling book on your hands.
Tony Park is making a habit of writing these "highly compelling" books and it's well worth your while checking out all 4 of them. Not only that you can anticipate his 5th book sometime in 2008 with work apparently well under way.
To get inside the head of Tony Park as well as plenty of info about his travels in Africa (and also to see him bathing al fresco) you might like to check out his blog.