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Those Who Love Night by Wessel Ebersohn
Review by Joseph B. Hoyos
Minotaur Books Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780312655969
Date: 31 January 2012 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK

Links: Author's Website / Show Official Info /

Beautiful Abigail Bukula is a highly successful lawyer for the South African government; she recently learns she has a cousin, Tony Makumbe, who is living in war-torn Zimbabwe. A talented, but mentally ill, young man, Tony is a political activist; he, along with six other dissidents, has been secretly arrested and is being held under harsh conditions in Chikurubi, a prison where most inmates die within a year of cholera or starvation. Abigail, along with her friend, criminologist Professor Yudel Gordon, flies to Harare, Zimbabwe to free her cousin. Unfortunately, a mad man, with secret, perverse ties to both Tony and Abigail, is determined to stop her at any cost.

Once again, Advocate Abigail Bukula has been called upon to battle injustice in Wessel Ebersohn's intriguing political thriller, Those Who Love Night. In the first novel of this provocative series, The October Killings, she must prevent the death of a man who saved her life when she was a child growing up during the Apartheid regime. Now, she must rescue a cousin she never knew existed--Tony Makumbe, her mom's sister's son, who was nearly killed during the Gukurahundi massacres in Bizana.

Those Who Love Night begins with the nightmarish raid of the Five Brigade who storm a village, shooting and bayoneting everyone who attempts to flee. It continues with Abigail and Yudel constantly risking their lives in a savage Zimbabwe. The novel ends on a shocking note that is quite depressing. Those who love political mysteries will definitely love Those Who Love Night.

I love reading mysteries such as this one because they safely and economically transport me to a country where I've never been. In this case, it is Zimbabwe, a country to which I never wish to travel after reading this novel. According to the author, Zimbabwe has the best climate in the world; however, it remains one of the poorest countries. It also has one of the most corrupt governments and its people live in poverty because of this, barely able to eke out a living and fend off starvation. If the law-abiding citizens can barely survive, imagine how the prisoners are treated. Reading Those Who Love Night definitely makes me appreciate living in America. Our government is not perfect by any means, but it is much better than many others. On the other hand, Zimbabwe may serve as a warning of what could happen in our country if the politicians, and the people they represent, become too corrupt.

Many evil deeds are performed during the protective cover of the night. Abigail is a brave woman for traveling to Zimbabwe. Perhaps its the realization that her marriage is in turmoil and her job is in jeopardy that provides the impetus in getting her aboard the plane that flies her to Harare. Her stress level is further elevated when she encounters several brutal murders and a handsome enemy continues to seduce her with his exhibitions of wealth and power. Don't be intimidated by this novel being labeled as a "political thriller". It has a lot of soap opera-like human drama in it that will tear at your heartstrings. There are some scenes that may make you misty eyed.

If you enjoyed reading The October Killings, then you will most definitely enjoy Those Who Love Night. It contains everything that a good mystery should have: startling twists, shocking revelations, unexpected romance, bloody violence, and comic relief. (I laughed out loud at the hilarious shenanigans that ensued when Yudel placed a personal ad in the local newspaper for his ninety-year-old father-in-law, Morrie Yachad.) A well-rounded mystery like this one deserves a sequel and I'll be waiting impatiently for it.

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