BOOK CLUB: Blood Trail

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Blood Trail by Tony Park is another explosive tale by the Australian author.

Based in South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve, we meet the key character and returning Captain Sannie van Rensburg of the South African police force.

She has many technical and personal obstacles to negotiate whilst whirling from tragedy. She is looking into the disappearance of two young girls.

Locals are outraged and want answers. Sannie teams with Mia Greenaway, a tracker to find the missing girls, the dynamic duo is put through the wringer at every turn as they try to rescue them. Dealing with the missing girls a poacher also goes missing.

Eyewitnesses around the world have viewed a live lockdown webcast of a safari game reserve that has exposed rhino poaching. And the harsh reality they are slain and dehorned.

Is there a link to the missing girls and the poacher due to umuti? A traditional method used for magical purposes which many poachers seek healers for this potion to make them strong, bulletproof, and invincible whilst hunting wildlife?

Scenes are very detailed, and the African backdrop is a fantastic setting in which you can picture yourself amongst the many contrasts and natural beauty the land holds. There are a lot of characters in this book; Sara, Samantha, Sean, Jeff, Henk, Bongani to name a few that were all driving forces.

Readers will be engaged by the emotional strength of the narrative and these compelling characters you cannot ignore. They were all very realistic and I felt sympathy towards many of them.

Tony Park is one of my favourite thriller writers and his African based novels are always a joy to read. Whilst he has returned to a favoured theme of wildlife poaching he has also incorporated how COVID-19 has sparked an increase in the hunting of endangered animals for traditional purposes and gain, also allowing this aspect of the setting to affect the characters.

As much as a reality COVID-19 is these days and the impact it is having on the world I would prefer to not read about it. When I pick up a novel I want to escape to another world or dimension. But I suspect in the future some authors may base their stories around COVID-19 and the effect it has had on human behaviours and nature.

I do commend him for highlighting this barbaric trade fuelled by greed which has increased during the pandemic and raising awareness to make change.

Blood Trail is hard-hitting, gritty, and will make you angry, and make you cry. It will bring you joy whilst sitting on the edge of your seat eager for the next page; it is impossible to put down. The depths of human depravity and rapacity know no limits.

This book leaves you with a sense of loss but also a faith in humanity and an appreciation of wildlife and their extinction. Tony Park is an author worth getting to know, he does not disappoint, and I highly recommend this.

Thank you, Beauty and Lace and Pan Macmillan Australia, for the opportunity to read and review.

A selection of our Beauty and Lace Club Members are reading Blood Trail by Tony Park. You can read their comments below, or add your own review.

ISBN: 9781760987428

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