Musth is hard to put down, once you get through the transitional scene setting in the first few chapters.
This is a thought-provoking fictional novel encompassing the issues being faced in many countries with endangered animals and the balancing act that governments play dealing with money/cultural imperatives and animal protection. It is a story that pits different viewpoints and morals across the span of the world and uses fictional characters placed in real places to open the eyes of the reader to the plight of both people and animals who have to share the same space.
Fred Guilhaus has embedded tendrils of moral, ethical and commercial conflicts throughout each page, circling back on sparks of the reader’s consciousness that have been brought to the fore as they travel this well written path.
This is a story that has elements of political intrigue, criminal detective story and old time romance. It has character development and imagery in descriptive text that is vivid and leads the reader into the next phase of the story with ease.
The cultural and economic information presented gives a deeper insight into to the transition of events in this often quickly moving plot. Although the story moves quite quickly in places it is rationed, allowing the magnitude of pivotal points to sink in and give the reader time to see the details underpinning the coming events at the same time.
The reader slips seamlessly from outside viewer to sitting alongside the characters experiencing their lives as the author drops titbits of information in a manner that makes you wonder if you have missed them or if they are being recounted for the first time to fill you in. The characters are real, and allow the reader to feel as if they know each one, if not personally but someone similar to someone they know. Finely detailed descriptions allow the reader to glimpse, the political and personal back stories upon which the story is built.
It is a shame that the print seems small and a little feint, with very close line spacing making reading mechanically difficult for anyone with eye problems, but well worth the effort. A book I am happy to recommend to anyone with a taste for intrigue or layers of action in their reading.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 8
Musth: An African Thriller
Author: Fred Guilhaus
Publisher: Wakefield Press
Release Date: Out now in paperback
RRP: $24.95 incl GST