Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Dead of Night by Michael Stanley #BlogTour

I'm so excited it's come round to my spot on this tour, so I can finally share my thoughts with you! Huge thanks to Michael Stanley, Orenda Books and Anne Cater for inviting me to get involved.

The Blurb:

When freelance journalist, Crystal Nguyen, heads to South Africa, she thinks she’ll be researching an article on rhino-horn smuggling for National Geographic, while searching for her missing colleague. But within a week, she’s been hunting poachers, hunted by their bosses, and then arrested in connection with a murder. And everyone is after a briefcase full of money that may hold the key to everything…

Fleeing South Africa, she goes undercover in Vietnam, trying to discover the truth before she’s exposed by the local mafia. Discovering the plot behind the money is only half the battle. Now she must convince the South African authorities to take action before it’s too late. She has a shocking story to tell, if she survives long enough to tell it…

Fast-paced, relevant and chilling, Dead of Night is a stunning new thriller that exposes one of the most vicious conflicts on the African continent…

Published on 15th June 2018 by Orenda Books. 

My Review:

I was really looking forward to this. Although I hadn't read any other books by Michael Stanley, I had heard only good things. And I know the calibre of the books which come out of the Orenda stables.

I've never been to South Africa but I have been to Kenya, and was lucky enough to see rhinos in the wild. So I was particularly interested in a story featuring these magnificent animals.

Before I get started, can I just tell you how much I love the cover? It just says Africa to me. The deep oranges evoke the heat, there is the contrast between the cityscape and the open safari ground, and a woman - Crystal - right in the middle of everything. Fabulous.

Crystal, or Crys as she is known, is a formidable heroine. She's very gutsy and seems adaptable to pretty much any scenario she comes across. As a journalist, she wants to find the story, and she clearly cares about the issue of rhino horn smuggling. But her real motivation is to find her close friend Michael, who is missing. But almost nobody she comes across is exactly who they seen to be.

Her return to Vietnam was interesting. She is conflicted returning to her country of origin, and this is clearly shown in the writing. Although she doesn't have too long to dwell on it as she pursues the truth. And Michael.

Other than Crys, the standout character for me was Bongani. Initially, he came across as a simple man, but he was far from that. A man torn in several directions, finding his loyalties tested. And he is beautifully written.

The action and intrigue come thick and fast throughout the book, which is superbly paced. And it all leads to an explosive climax, which I found hugely satisfying. Although there was one wee thing which made me a little sad, but I can't tell you what it is - you'll just need to read it instead!

This novel is so current. It's intelligently written and obviously well researched. All the characters are well drawn, and the settings evocative. The plights of rhinos, and actually many humans in different situations are well highlighted and explained. There is one short graphic scene which is quite difficult to read, but I felt it was important to the plot.

As always with a pair of authors, I am fascinated and bewildered by how their writing process works. The writing here is absolutely seamless, as if written by one person, so Michael and Stanley are clearly completely in tune with each other.

I don't know whether there is more planned for Crys, but I would love to hear more about her. Regardless, I will be seeking out more by Michael Stanley. I loved this book, and would recommend it to anyone who enjoys an intelligent, relevant thriller which packs a punch, or has an interest in Africa or animal conservation. An absolute belter of a book! 

You can buy Dead of Night on Amazon UK and US.

The Authors:

Michael Stanley is the writing team of Michael Sears and Stanley Trollip. Both were born in South Africa and have worked in academia and business. On a flying trip to Botswana, they watched a pack of hyenas hunt, kill and devour a wildebeest, eating both flesh and bones. That have them the premise for their first mystery, A Carrion Death, which introduced Detective 'Kubu' Bengu of the Botswana Criminal Investigation Department. It was a finalist for five awards, including the CWA Debut Dagger. The series has been critically acclaimed, and their third book, Death of the Mantis, won the Barry Award and was a finalist for an Edgar award. Deadly Harvest was a finalist for an International Thriller Writer's award. Dead of Night is their first standalone thriller.


  1. Thanks so much for the Blog Tour support x

    1. Thanks so much for inviting me to be on it! Hope I'll be able to do more of yours in the future. x

  2. Thank you for the opportunity! I loved the book and I loved Crys.


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