Today is my stop on the blog tour for ‘Last Survivor’ by Tony Park organised by Damppebbles Blog Tours. I hope that you will check out both the author and the book, as well as the rest of the blogs involved in the tour.
*Disclaimer: ‘I was given a copy this book in exchange for an honest review.’*
A priceless plant, a rare African cycad thought to be extinct and prized by collectors, has been discovered, then stolen.
Joanne Flack, widowed and broke, is the prime suspect for the crime. While supposedly hiding out in London she single-handedly foils a terrorist plot, killing a lone-wolf gunman.
Former mercenary turned CIA contractor, Sonja Kurtz, uncovers a link between the missing plant and the terrorist who tried to kill Joanne. The US Government thinks that if it can find the missing cycad it can foil an attack to rival 9-11.
Hot on Joanne’s trail is retired US Fisheries and Wildlife Department special agent Rod Cavanagh who knows his plants and knows his target – he’s her former lover.
Joanne is a member of the Pretoria Cycad and Firearms Appreciation Society. She, Sonja and Rod enlist the help of this group of ageing gardeners and gun nuts to find a plant worth a fortune and the traitor in their midst who is willing to kill for it.
Last Survivor is the fourth in a series but works very well as a standalone which is how I read it. It has an intriguing premise, and it resulted in a gripping, enjoyable book.
The thriller aspect of this book was complex, tightly woven and fascinating, as it went from what has to be one of the coolest group of pensioners I’ve ever read about and launched into a very modern exploration of the wrong side of the law. From terrorism to smuggling, corruption and poaching and more, all with a very modern and very realistic flavour, some closer to home than others in our current time, this book had it all, combined with obvious knowledge and love for the African Continent. Knowledge that for the most part was displayed with great skill, alongside the thriller aspect of the book, although there were a few places where it felt like the details were outweighing the story. While there was a lot, I found interesting – especially the information about the Cycad – there was also some that felt unnecessary and slowed down the pacing, although Park was swift to draw us back into the action after those moments.
However, for the most part, Last Survivor was well-paced with a good balance of story, characters, and action. Park has created a very character-driven story here, and they were well-drawn and central to the plot from start to finish, and never lost out to plot or information. In particular, the elderly society members were the highlight of this book for me, and I would gladly read more about them.
A fun, engaging read with a fast, well-paced plot and a really fascinating premise, and certainly a book I would recommend to anyone who likes some different characters in their action.
About the Author:
Tony Park was born in 1964 and grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has worked as a newspaper reporter in Australia and the UK, a press secretary, a PR consultant and a freelance writer. He also served 34 years in the Australian Army Reserve, including six months in Afghanistan in 2002. Tony and his wife, Nicola, divide their time equally between Australia and southern Africa. He is the author of eighteen thriller novels set in Africa, with more on the way. His latest novel, Last Survivor, was the number one bestselling adult fiction title in South Africa.
Last Survivor (A Pretoria Cycad and Firearms Appreciation Society Mystery) – Tony Park – *** (3/5 Stars)
If you’ve read it or read in the future, please feel free to shout at me about this fantastic book.