The Delta

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The Delta - Tony Park, book reviewHaving thoroughly enjoyed Tony Park’s recent novel, African Dawn, I added his other novels to my wishlist – all of them set in Africa and sounding similarly exciting. He hasn’t written that many novels, so I decided to ration them so as to make the enjoyment of them last. My first purchase was The Delta.

Sonja is a mercenary, originally from Namibia, a former soldier who now works for a security firm, basically soldiers or assassins for hire. After a botched assassination attempt in Zimbabwe, she hides in the Okavango Delta in Botswana, a place she knows well. But the delta is under threat from a new dam in Namibia. After meeting Sam, and American wildlife TV presenter, and his crew, Sonja finds herself pushed by her boss into the middle of a plan to save the delta…

The opening of The Delta is packed with excitement, Guns, grenades, rocket launchers, helicopter gunships and car chases are all present as things go a bit wrong for Sonja. This sets the tone for later sections of the novel, although it isn’t all action. There are some beautiful and peaceful passages set in the Okavango, a place that Sonja loves and which means a lot to her

As in African Dawn, there is a focus on conservation in The Delta, clearly a subject close to Park’s heart. In African Dawn, it was the plight of the black rhino. In The Delta, it is the Okavango itself which is under threat, and it is preventing the delta’s destruction which forms the central story of the novel. The Okavango Delta is an area which is familiar to me from many wildlife programmes, and is always beautifully presented by David Attenborough as a veritable sanctuary. As such it feels like a place I know well, and the thought of it being destroyed is upsetting. Whether Park chose such a well-known place knowing it would be emotive, I don’t know, but it certainly worked on me.

The setting of The Delta in general meant more to me than the Rhodesia/Zimbabwe of African Dawn. The Delta takes place mainly in Botswana and Namibia, both countries I know more of than Zimbabwe. In this respect The Delta has the edge on African Dawn, but I wasn’t quite so blown away by the excitement and action of the story as I was with African Dawn. The Delta was absolutely as exciting as African Dawn, perhaps even more so, but I think the problem was that I went into The Delta with higher expectations – having already read and loved a novel by Tony Park, I knew what I hoped for from The Delta, whereas I didn’t know what to expect from African Dawn.

Don’t take that the wrong way though – I loved The Delta, it was well-written and the pacing of the story was excellent.

I am still very glad that I discovered Tony Park. Despite having only read two of his novels, he is edging his way into my list of favourite authors, and I can’t wait to read more.

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Delta, The
by Tony Park

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Written by eilidhcatriona

A Scottish lass in her late twenties living in London. A prolific reader always interested in something new.

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