Josh Hagarty has done everything he knows how to do to try and get out of his crappy life in Kentucky. But now that he has his MBA, his criminal past is still keeping him from getting a job, meaning his hopes of getting himself and his teenage sister out of their trailer home are for nothing. Then a charity called NewAfrica offers him a job. It seems too good to be true - not only do they offer to pay off his college debt, but they also promise to help him pay for his sister's upcoming college tuition as well. And he will be helping people, in Africa. Maybe this is the new beginning he needs.
But of course it is too good to be true. When Josh arrives at his first work location, it appears that no one knows what to do with him, and he has no tools or outside help to make the situation work. And his contacts back in America just keep reassuring him that things will be fine. As the tribal violence in the area gets worse, Josh realizes that his African contacts may not be interested in helping this venture at all. And soon he becomes aware that his predecessor in this position did not quit - he was brutally murdered. As Josh discovers more about NewAfrica that they don't want him to know, he must protect himself and the people he loves in order to get the truth out, before he becomes another casualty.
This was a fast-paced page-turner, for sure, although it's not really my kind of book. I do have to say that I had a hard time putting it down anyway. It really draws you in, the action is pretty much nonstop. As is the violence, but that is to be expected from such a book. The two main problems I had with the book were the characters and the setting. I honestly really did not like or care about any of the characters. At one point in the story, when it seemed like the entire cast might end up dead, I wasn't really that worried. I just did not care. But I kept reading. The other thing that really bothered me about the book was the picture it paints of Africa. There is not one redeeming factor shown about Africa here - it is all just tribal warfare, petty violence, environmental degradation, and lots of "the Africans need to help themselves". It was just depressing, and while it may be an accurate picture of some areas of the country, I felt that it was very one-sided. Overall, while this book wasn't really my type, it would be enjoyed by anyone who likes fast-paced political dramas and action thrillers.
This is the second book that I have read for the Suspense & Thriller Reading Challenge. This book falls within the genre of a Conspiracy thriller - "In which the hero/heroine confronts a large, powerful group of enemies whose true extent only he/she recognizes". This book also qualifies for the New Author Challenge, The Pub 2009 Challenge, and RYOB 2009.