Wednesday, February 9, 2011
The Delta by Tony Park
I’m not sure that there is a whole lot of value in writing a review of a novel after it’s been on the market for several months. Nevertheless, I’m going to go ahead and spout a few words of praise for a work of fiction which I recently finished reading.
The Delta, by Tony Park, was such an excellent book that I’m taking the time to laud it.
As I’ve made my way through Tony’s novels, I’ve been impressed by his versatility. Yes, each novel is set in Africa. But the Dark Continent is a vast, mysterious land of diverse cultures, landscapes and ecosystems, and it’s apparent that this author hasn’t just read about the land—he’s experienced it, up close and personal. Africa isn’t just another continent—it’s a whole world, unto itself.
The Delta takes place in Botswana, in the Okavango Delta. As in all Tony’s novels, the reader is allowed to roam with the majestic creatures of the region; elephants, lions, impalas, hippos, and more. And as in all of Tony’s novels, the characters are deep, true to life and inherently human.
The Delta’s protagonist, Sonja Kurtz, is an enigma. A soldier, a mercenary, and a proficient killer, she is also a mother and a woman who is second-guessing the choices she has made in her life. Set up to take the fall in a botched assassination attempt, she finds herself on the run. But the land she is escaping through is the land of her childhood. The home which shaped her—inside and out, and for better or worse. Determined to find her first love, reunite with her daughter and throw aside her sinister past, Sonja heads for the Delta—and straight into another perilous battle.
The Delta is not just an adventure story with a little danger, romance and an exotic setting thrown in for good measure. It is a contemporary chronicle of the conflict between modernization and the status quo; between corporate interests, and the desire to preserve that which Mother Nature and time have created, molded and jealously guarded.
Sonja Kurtz is confronted with challenges. An unexpected reunion with her alcoholic father and a new family she never knew she had. An attraction to a handsome television star who seems more glitz than grit. An employer who holds her future in his hands. And a massive hydroelectric dam which threatens to forever change the essence of the Okavango Delta.
Author Tony Park presents a timeless issue in a contemporary setting. Man vs. Nature is the perpetual conflict, and the colorful characters and the fast-moving plot of The Delta engross the reader and make it impossible not to choose sides.