Kathy Austin is in a coma in a hospital in Namibia while in America a disabled preacher of a small Chicago church is gently manipulated to capitalise on his particular brand of faith. The figure doing the manipulating, however, is unlikely to be of a religious persuasion. In Britain an agent is dispatched to repatriate Kathy, but is intercepted, and replaced, in Cairo, while back at the hospital a smiling benefactor appears to miraculously and clandestinely heal Kathy, bringing her out of her coma and obliterating her injuries.
What was once a stumbling voyage of strange discoveries and weird happenstance is now a game of espionage and bluff, with various powers attempting to control, throw off or eliminate others. The wider implications are not obvious as it’s not clear who all the players are, but, with help, Kathy continues to make in-roads into the mystery as events become increasingly surreal.
In this book the tension and mystery is ramped up, not with more odd or extinct creatures, but with cloak and dagger activities and potentially misplaced religious fervour. Kathy remains a tenacious and unflappable central character, determined to get to the bottom of the enigma, although now she may be more deeply involved than she realises.
The skilful blending of genres here are delivering something both captivating and unique. There’s a suggestion as to where it might be heading, but whether or not we’re being wrong-footed for narrative purposes remains to be seen. For all it’s intrigue, oddity, spectacle and setting, I for one would love to see a Netflix adaptation of Namibia.
And if you liked that: Then you’re going to enjoy Leo’s Aldebaran series