Book Review and Giveaway: Tears of the Cheetah

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Author: T.M. Clark
ISBN: 9781743693100
RRP: $29.99

T.M. Clark is a compelling new Australian voice whose third novel is Tears of the Cheetah. This is the first time I have read Clark but it certainly won’t be the last.

Clark is an Australian author who was born in Zimbabwe and her knowledge and passion for the African continent is tangible in her writing.

Tears of the Cheetah weaves different aspects of African life into a suspenseful story of game poaching, shady business, art and animal conservation. Being a tale of suspense I don’t want to ruin any of the storylines.

Mackenzie is an American artist who has moved to South Africa to find herself and her independence, she has kept herself apart form the local community and not let anyone get too close. Mackenzie has found a new inspiration for her art and begun a series of African animals.

My favourite part of Tears of the Cheetah is the cheetahs, much of the story takes place in a cheetah rescue and conservation reserve. Here we are able to get up close and personal with the cheetahs, and reserve owner Cole. We see them as individual animals with personality, they are quite tame and are happy to be handled. Clark has beautifully described the majesty of the big cats and their skills.

Early in the story Mackenzie races the cheetahs on her bicycle as she passes every day and the description is just glorious; of the cyclist pushing herself and the cheetahs exercising. I think it’s interesting to note that it’s pointed out that Mackenzie is racing against 6 different cheetahs but she doesn’t realise they’re changing.

There are lots of different threads to this story that don’t seem related in the beginning. The story opens with a mother cheetah on the prowl, then we meet Cole and his cheetah family. Descriptions of his work with the cheetah are informative and interesting, giving us a look into the characteristics of the animals and the way they are treated to ensure they will be able to return to the wild.

I did find at times that the story seemed to get bogged down in description, what was intended to paint a vibrant picture of the markets or the people seemed superfluous. The descriptions in those instances failed to evoke the image it was trying to paint. In other circumstances, like the descriptions of Mackenzie’s art or the animals, the descriptions were spot on.

tears of the cheetah

Hope is found injured in the bush after a plane crash and she remembers nothing but her name, she is rescued by Mandla who is out tracking animals. It seems that though they work for completely different operations their work may be more alike than they had thought.

maNtuli joins the narrative in chapter four, she is a well known figure in the Johannesburg underworld. We learn a little about her past and how she came to be in her current position but not where she fits into the story we are reading about Mackenzie, Cole and the cheetah.

All of the characters in Tears of the Cheetah have suffered terrible heartbreaks in their past, all of them very different but still offering a point of understanding and a common ground.

Romance is an element of the story and it is a beautiful thing to watch but it is quite subtle and slow releasing. Early on Mackenzie keeps herself completely distanced from everyone so to get to a point where she’s willing to cultivate even a friendship is quite an impressive feat.

Suspense, romance, poaching, conservation as well as some amazing scenery and majestic animals. T.M. Clark writes a compelling story that involves you in the plight of the animals and the people of South Africa. I definitely plan to seek out more by T.M. Clark in the future.

Tears of the Cheetah is book #72 for the Australian Women Writer’s Challenge 2015.

T.M. Clark can be found at TMClark.com.au, Facebook and Twitter.

Tears of the Cheetah is available now at Harlequin, Angus and Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

We have copies of Tears of the Cheetah to giveaway to 5 of our lucky readers thanks to Morey Media and Harlequin. If you want to be one of them tell us in the comments below about the animal you would most like to see removed from the endangered list.

Competition closes 29/01/16 midnight AEST. You must be subscribed to the Beauty and Lace newsletter OR a Facebook fan to enter. Make sure you use a valid email address so we can contact you if you are a lucky winner

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42 thoughts on “Book Review and Giveaway: Tears of the Cheetah

  1. Borneo pygmy elephants as elephants are absolutely beautiful and need to be saved from poachers, who kill them for their tusks.

  2. The Cottontop Tamarin an exquisite little character full of love and totally harmless yet virtually extinct in today’s world of burning rainforests

  3. The Black Rhino even though this is a very dangerous animal would love to see a breeding program put it place and education on the rhino horn times and attitudes have to change killing a magnificent animal just for its horn not on anymore

  4. I would really love to see the black rhino be able to be taken off the endangered list. The black rhino is now on the critically endangered list and this is a shame as our children will never be able to see these animals in their natural habitat.

  5. I’ve always been such a lover of elephants and you will always find me watching those documentaries about them. It pains me that they are killed for just their ivory. Such magnificent animals cruelly killed.

  6. My youngest daughter has had a passion for Tigers since she was a very small child. Many years ago I took her and one of her sisters on a trip to New Zealand where we met up with a friend from America and we toured around the North Island. One of the surprises we had for the girls was a visit to a Big Cat Sanctuary. The place was closed at the time but I had been in touch with the Owner and He invited us to visit. It was amazing and we got to play with tiger cubs. It was that day that I found my love for these amazing creatures grew.
    I would love to see all big cats removed from the endangered list.

  7. I would love to see all animals removed from the Endangered List.
    There have been great steps taken in the scientific world with Cloning and Selective Breeding, but I am realistic to know that sadly there will always be endangered animals.

  8. I love Cheetahs but recently saw a documentary on how the King of the Beasts / the Lion is on the endangered list.We have invaded their habitat in the name of farming & tourism surely we should develop some commonsense & rectify this problem before it is too late,even the Masaii are now educated & rewarded for protecting lions instead of killing them.

  9. I’d love to see Giant Pandas removed from the endangered list. It’s wonderful to see that China is supporting this with captive breeding programmes, because with the low mating and birthrate of these gorgeous animals much needs to be done.

  10. Most of the endangered animals are beautiful in their own rights. I would personally like to see more done to help the orang-utans, the panda or the numbats. As there are sooooo many animals that are becoming endangered it is about time people started showing a little more responsibility and helping these animals before they are no longer available for the enjoyment of people to LOOK at not kill or destroy their habitats.

  11. I’d like to be sure the Edged Tailed Eagle- native to my home, Tasmania, comes off the endangered list. A magnificent bird.

  12. I would like to see the mouse deer removed from the endangered list because they are such beautiful shy animals and i was lucky enough to see one in the Borneo Jungle a few years ago as there are not many left in the wild due to poaching

  13. The Cheetah. I always wanted to be reincarnated as one, til I realised what a hard life they have. Hunted by poachers and farmers, killed by larger cats, and after an exhausting hunt, their kill is often stolen by other larger animals.

  14. The Northern Hairy-nosed Wombat is on the brink of extinction. Their numbers were apparently never very great, but having to compete for food with introduced livestock has taken a massive toll on the wombat population.

    They are really just adorable to look at. Like mini tanks on legs.

  15. I’m going to be completely unrealistic but totally honest and say I’d like to have a world where no creature was endangered. The Tasmanian Tiger must have been a glorious animal before extinction and now the Tasmanian Devil is in danger from the dreadful facial tumour disease. If we lose our animals we lose our soul.
    I love the beautiful cover of this wonderful sounding book.

  16. I would love to see the Sumatran Orangutan able to be removed from its current status of critically endangered and preferably from the endangered list altogether. Achieving this would also mean that there was no more destruction of the Orangutan’s natural habitat, and an end to Indonesian land clearing by fire which not only destroys the Orangutan’s habitat but also is contributing to major pollution throughout Asia.

  17. So often forgotten is the effect of the coming times on Polar bears. Majestic beasts who are rapidly losing their land, their food sources and their lives. Misunderstood and misrepresented, these beautiful white bears should be rescued from the endangered species list.

  18. The Bilby. One of our cuddliest Australian mammals, yet they hide natural beauty in their rare numbers. But a pot of honey will befriend them.

  19. Leadbeater’s Possum, one of Australia’s critically endangered animals, from mountain Victoria, they are gorgeous little possums (only around 150g) so cute, i would love to see these little fellas numbers grow.

  20. Well, the koala is actually on the endangered list (officially declared “vulnerable” by every state and territory). I’d love to see it come off. It’s such an iconic Australian animal – it’d be devastating if we lost them.

  21. There are so many critically endangered right now, it’s heart breaking & also almost impossible to choose just one.
    If I had to though, it would be the South China Tiger. These amazingly majestic animals were hunted to almost extinction as they were looked at as if they were pests. There hasn’t been a sighting of these Tigers in the wild for close to 25yrs & there are currently only 80 (at the highest estimate) known to be alive today.

  22. The Tasmanian Devil! These little guys are an icon for us Tasmanians, and they are actually really useful to our environment down here. They do a great job of protecting our state from unwanted pests, especially foxes, and they are great for promoting tourism!

  23. I am concerned at the rate animals are becoming endangered. In my own backyard there are very few bees to pollinate my vegetables. Elephants are a species I would like to see removed from the endangered list.

  24. Hard to choose.. but I think Tasmanian Devils would be great to see off the list (from a purely patriotic point of view)
    From a beauty point of view.. lets get the Giant Panda off that list.

  25. How do I pick just one when all animals are majestic both large and small I am going to say the monarch butterfly it is sad to think that even something so small in this world is endangered

  26. Any and all of the Australian animals that are currently listed would be wonderful to see them removed. Devastating to know that we have pushed so many to this point. 🙁 I will choose the cute and oh so tiny Southern Corroboree frog as my first little animal to save.

  27. I would choose the orangutans as they are so cute with their orange coloured hair. My youngest boy has nearly the same coloured hair and I tell him he has golden hair which means he is special and if anyone teases him that is because they are jealous 🙂 so that is why they have a soft spot in my heart.

  28. Sloth, so beautiful, amazing, inquisitive, and I think intelligent too. As much of a loss as it would be heartbreaking for them to totally disappear. This said, I’d gladly put myself on the endangered list if I could take each and every creature off of it.

  29. The Tassie Devil as they’re really suffering from facial diseases which have the possibility to decimate them.

  30. As a cat lover I would be heartbroken if Snow Leopards became extinct. What pretty, purrfect creatures. If only all cats could have nine and beyond lives.

  31. The Aztecs highly respected this bird in the belief that it brought fire and I love them for their daintiness – the hummingbird.

  32. I love turtles so I’d say the Leatherback Turtle. It would be such a shame to never get to swim with these gentle, graceful creatures ever again.

  33. Save our koala is what I chant, also it’s mate the Tasmanian devil. Not to forget our iconic Bilby too. Without our beloved creatures Australia will no longer be true blue.

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