This gritty novel is both an adventure and a love story, but ultimately it’s a tale of survival in a paradise-like setting turned dark and threatening.
Photographer Jake Mayfield is on a quest to make photos that rise to the level of fine art, and when he lands in the Caribbean island of Soufriere, he discovers the inspiration he’s been seeking. But on day one, he finds himself in a showdown with local “pseudo-rasta” Rollo Joseph, a dangerous man who grows determined to harm Mayfield.
Soon, Mayfield falls for a shy local girl, putting her also in harm’s way and further ratcheting up the tension between him and Joseph. As he plots his strategy for survival, the stakes grow and it is clear this is a clash that can only end in violence.
This is a skillfully written tale, with fully rendered characters, a keen ear for dialogue and dialect, and an eye for description. There is a fine balance between the beauty of an island escape and the threat that seems always to linger just beyond. The author is adept at continually raising the stakes, and fulfills the reader’s expectation that he will see the story line through to a realistic end.
There is one scene of animal abuse that some readers may find hard to take, and after a major plot turn, the introspection slows the pace. But otherwise, this is a story well told, and with plenty of sex and violence, it’s one that may especially appeal to male readers.
Also available as an ebook.