The Delta, the latest offering from Tony Park, is one of those books that’s close-to impossible to put down. After an exciting opening of a (fictionalised) attempted roadside assassination of Mugabe, the book picks up pace and turns into a gripping adventure set in Botswana and Namibia‘s Caprivi Strip. The lead character, Sonja Kurtz, a Lara Croft-esque mercenary on the run after her assassination attempt, tries to hide in her childhood home of the Okavango Delta and leave her soldier life behind. Her decision is thwarted when she’s drawn into a dangerous plot to save the Okavango from environmental disaster.
The story interweaves an American television star who’s abandoned in the bush for a reality show, rebel soldiers fighting for independence, a shifty missionary, a handsome mercenary commander and a ruthless Zimbabwean army major in a story that is one part African thriller, one part political action story and hugely entertaining.
Apart from the exciting plot and intriguing characters, I was struck by the story’s sense of place – it’s obvious the author is familiar with the landscape and cultures of the area and, if you haven’t been to the Okavango Delta, the book will make you want to start booking your next holiday there (minus the deadly action, of course).
The Delta is published by Quercus and retails for R185. Buy a copy of The Delta here.