Shoot the Bastards: A Crystal Nguyen Thriller

Michael Stanley. Poisoned Pen, $15.99 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-4642-1167-6
This promising series launch from Edgar-finalist Stanley (the Detective Kubu series) introduces Crystal “Crys” Nguyen, a Vietnamese-American journalist who writes for a Minnesota paper. Crys becomes concerned about a close colleague, reporter Michael Davidson, who has been working on a story for National Geographic on rhino-horn smuggling, when Michael suddenly stops emailing her. Shortly before, he alerted her to his discovery that the embargo on harvesting rhino horns was being violated in South Africa. She persuades Michael’s editor to pay her to finish her friend’s story, and, in the process, ascertain his whereabouts. On arriving in South Africa, Crys gets permission to accompany a government antipoaching squad in Kruger National Park, where her situation gets a lot more complicated when she stumbles on a murder and a suitcase full of cash. Her pursuit of the truth about the smuggling and Michael also takes her to Europe and Vietnam. While the characterization and plotting aren’t at the same high level as in the Detective Kubu books, this is still an entertaining page-turner. Readers will look forward to the sequel. (June)
Reviewed on : 07/30/2019
Release date: 06/01/2019
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Hardcover - 978-1-4642-1165-2
Paperback - 576 pages - 978-1-4642-1166-9
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