The violence of modern African life overwhelms a gamekeeper whose family is murdered by poachers in this fast-moving but hackneyed adventure debut by comics artist Grell. Jon Sable, hero of the comic book Jon Sable, Freelance, brings little depth to his role as the novel's protagonist, living his dream of running a safari company in Tanzania. He is forced to accept a job as a gamekeeper when business turns slow, and he's so good in his new career that poachers take revenge, murdering his wife and children and leaving the wounded Sable near death. Sable survives, but his psyche is shattered, and he goes on a killing spree, taking down poachers and forcing a second confrontation with the man who destroyed his family. That encounter lands Sable in prison. He gets out quickly, however, when invited to join a mercenary group attempting to rescue a wealthy industrialist's son who's surrounded by military terrorists in a game park. After being wounded in the rescue, Sable goes to New York for a break, where he meets the literary agent who rejected his novel but who now accepts his proposal for a series of children's books. Sable's ensuing literary success catapults him into a new life, but his old one returns to haunt him when he's stalked by an assassin, and he must return to Africa to track the man who put a price on his head. Grell supplies a nonstop stream of violent action. His protagonist lacks vibrancy and complexity, however. The author misses the chance to provide an in-depth look at the cultural and economic conflicts of contemporary Africa, and instead pads his book with clich d plot and characters.
PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW
It's full of action and revenge, thats's good enough for me!
Jon Sable (of comics fame) is an efficient killer, brilliant tactician, and master of the hunt. This novel explores his origins and his personal quest for justice. When Sable finds out why and how his family was really murdered, there will be a reckoning!
Action, intrigue, and tragedy. Takes place largely in Africa. 3/5 stars.