Five words from the blurb: Zimbabwe, decision, catastrophe, farm, clues
Four years ago I read Andrew Sharp’s debut novel and fell in love with it. Ghosts of Eden is a fantastic book and I urge everyone to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised when a copy of his second novel dropped through my letter box. This turned to great happiness when I discovered that my name was on the back cover. I’d been blurbed for the first time!
Fortunate begins with Beth, a doctor, visiting a new patient in an old people’s home. The old man is originally from Zimbabwe and he trusts Beth with his secrets. This knowledge eventually takes her to Africa in search of his son where she becomes involved in some dangerous political situations.
The book is different in style from his first novel. It has a faster pace and is more plot driven. The characters were easy to connect to and I especially loved the medical details. The author’s experience as a doctor is clearly evident and I love the way he isn’t afraid to use medical terminology.
Unfortunately this book wasn’t as good as The Ghosts of Eden. There were a few too many coincidences and the reader has to suspend their disbelief on several occasions. Events developed too quickly to be realistic and although this helped the plot develop I would have preferred a longer book in which things happened at their natural pace.
I also found that some of the sections in Africa didn’t interest me as much as the others. There were times when it felt more like a political thriller (a genre I have no interest in) and the car chases and assassination attempts left me cold.
Overall this book is a strange mix of genres. Some paragraphs read like the wonderful literary fiction of The Ghosts of Eden; some felt more like a contemporary romance novel; and other sections will appeal to thriller fans. There were some great scenes, but overall it didn’t quite work for me.