S Shane Thomas
on Jan. 8, 2017 :
Sammi is a single thirtysomething woman happily working in an ad agency in South Africa. She digs nineties pop, practices energy healing, and meditates. I think she’d get along great with Phoebe from Friends, but Sammie would be the brains of the outfit.
Her friend and psychic advisor Mary throws a singles retreat and Sammi prepares to spend her weekend flirting it up. Instead, she stumbles into a mysterious number on a slip and the killer who wants it back. Can Sammi, Jay, and Inspector Grierson uncover why this number is worth taking lives? Well, I already know, but don’t want to spoil the surprise. Read it yourself, it’s great!
I found out about this story because Leenna and I workshopped one another’s writing on Critters.org. I thought about that story a lot over the following months. You know it’s a good one when you find yourself thinking about while listing to music or while at the gym. She wrote a short story about were-marsupials in the Australian outback that I still think about from time to time. Then I read another novel of hers, currently seeking a publisher, and I became a Naidoo fan.
It was fun as an American reader to explore the vocabulary and culture of South Africa, of which I know very little. I’ve now got a dozen factoids to spout to people I know but don’t share a ton in common with- like “some places spell it tyre instead of tire and they call the bathroom a water closet!”
The adventure spans an unfamiliar countryside as Sammi and company try to stay one step ahead of the gun toting thugs. I love a traveling story. There’s something about the open road that fires my imagination. I currently drive about forty thousand miles a year for work and listen to audiobooks all the while, except for that torrid affair with podcasts! I think the sense of adventure inherent to travel and the receipt of a narrative like some sort of grown up bed time has turned the monotony of travel into a mythical experience. It was nice covering some new countryside and Naidoo delivered the countryside and coastline of her faraway place in vivid detail. Thanks for roadtrip, Leenna!
(review of free book)