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  • Location: South Africa, Vietnam

Dead of Night

Dead of Night

Why a Booktrail?

2000s: When you investigate rhino-horn smuggling…there are more dangers than you think…

  • ISBN: B079YXP8R2
  • Genre: Crime

What you need to know before your trail

When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, while searching for her missing colleague. But within a week, she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that may hold the key to everything…

Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late. She has a shocking story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it…

Travel Guide

 Travel to Southern Africa

“National Geographic had sent her to Africa to write about the plight of the rhinos. She arrived with a clear vision of what should be done – stop poaching and ban the trade in rhino horns”

But the real fear as well as reality is that once you’d smashed one, another one would take over and another smuggling route would be opened. “Rhino horn was just worth too much money” The awful reality is that a supply is turned off, even temporarily, the price for that which does gets through, is considerably higher than normal.

The novel delves into the heart  – the stained bleeding heart – of the rhino trade and newspaper articles are inserted to show the horrendous violence and evil of these groups know no bounds. They might be fictional here, yet they reveal so much of the real world at large. A world which some of us never see, but it’s sadly always there.

“Southern Africa lost about fifteen hundred rhinos last year, with over a thousand of those in South Africa itself. How can you see you have the situation under control?”

“Stopping poaching was like digging a hole in a swamp”


Another destination to see where the horns end up and to see the  trade from the other side of the fence – the money, the violence and everything it goes through to get to the ‘customer’

Crys is back in her home town but much has changed -according to the taxi driver:

“Vietnam much changed since war. Ho Chi Minh City now modern city. Like New York. and country also modern,’ he told her. “New buildings, many jobs. People earning money. All Vietnamese working for good future.

“We happy to welcome Americans, Bring money and happy faces”

She’s here to investigate the alarming trade in rhino horns here and Saigon Port seems to be the place where the trade is focused. Most horns come from Africa by boat and in powder form as well as whole horns since the powdered form is cheaper. Just as deadly for the rhino though of course.


Booktrailer Review

Susan: @thebooktrailer

A heartbreaking story of rhino poaching and the harsh reality of African politics.

Crystal Nguyen is a freelance journalist who is plunged into a nightmare when her close friend Michael Davidson goes missing inthe African bush. He was there researching a story on rhino poaching so she has reason to be worried. This is a controversial and potentially deadly topic. Those who make money from the trade go to any lengths to protect it.

She soon gets in a lot deeper than she would have liked. She becomes both the hunter and the hunted, thrown into jail and is even then accused of being part of a money laundering operation.

Talk about trying to do good and then getting lost in a maze of trouble! This is when the novel really ramps up the energy for me, as things get very challenging and very dark. What does a journalist do on such dangerous ground? She ‘s a woman in a violent man’s world so that just adds to the tension and danger. The rhino hunters are one thing, it’s the others that she had to watch out for. She is not your average female journalist and has many hidden depths and skills to save her from what this novel throws at her (thank goodness). No wonder Colonel Mabula even has to admire her at some point.

And the setting is just as dramatic and far reaching as the plot itself – South Africa, Minnesota, Vietnam and then back to South Africa. It’s in Africa where most of the book is set and where the novel truly shines though. There is a lot of violence, some sad, hard truths about the rhino poaching ‘industry’ but the setting and the aromas of the African landscape (this is an evocative read) allow the reader to appreciate it all.

IT’s Noir, very Noir, but with hints of an African kaleidoscope of colour and depth

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Dead of Night

Destination : South Africa, Geneva, Ho Chi Minh City, Duluth  Author/Guide: Michael Stanley  Departure Time: 2000s

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