This thriller, which author Peter Riva dedicates to friends thinly disguised in the story and his family which is patient as he travels, is the second novel of East African tour guide Mbuno of the Liangulu, the first being A Tribal Rumble: A Safari Campfire Tale, and focuses on a reality television producer named Pero Baltazar and Mbuno being charged with stopping terrorism. Joining them is Mary, the daughter of television evangelist Reverend Jimmy Threte, with a terrorist cell targeting them with no escape, after which they’ll need to put their production aside to halt the al-Shabaab terrorists from harming the Reverend’s Christian gathering numbering in the hundreds of thousands in Nairobi, Kenya. However, Pero’s past in working as a secret carrier for the United States State Department, if revealed, could jeopardize the entire group.
Preceding the main text is a useful map of Kenya and the territory of its neighbors in the African continent, which is helpful given the many exotic locales presenting through the story. The novel itself opens in 2002, with Pero meeting a tribal chieftain named Methenge early on. Some references to contemporary events such as the U.S. bombing of a supposed al-Qaida camp in Sudan during the late 1990s that killed only four camels occasionally abound. There are also occasional factoids about Kenyan locales such as the Ramu airstrip being used for both small civilian airplanes and the country’s military. Overall, this is an enjoyable novel that gives good insight into the climate and culture of Kenya that remains engaging throughout and contains a satisfying conclusion.
Peter Riva spent many months over thirty years in Africa, many of them with the legendary guides for East African white hunters and adventurers. He created a TV series (seventy-eight 1-hour episodes) in 1995 called WildThings for Paramount TV. Passing on the fables, true tales and insider knowledge of these last reserves of true wildlife is a passion.