After the Monsoon is a novel by author Robert Karjel. This is a cinematic horror film set in a world of terror and piracy in the Horn of Africa, a vast desert. Alliances change, a Swedish detective uses his wisdom to survive.
A Swedish army lieutenant died on a desert shooting range. Was it an unfortunate accident or something lurking? Investigating murder cases and fighting for survival is what detective Ernst Grip has to do..
Here are the top 3 reviews and comments that readers love about this fascinating book.
Review 1: After the Monsoon audiobook by Kindle Customer
Grip returns, translation is superb.The author’s eye for nuanced story pacing is perfect. Everything is wrapped up in a tidy bow at the end, but getting there was fun. More books from this writer. I like that he allows the reader to figure out what is going on, instead of giving it as a gift. As in his first in the series, THE SWEDE, there are characters that are so fully fleshed out by what is NOT written , but by the reader following the breadcrumbs. Read both books twice, there is treasure to find in the reading.
Review 2: After the Monsoon audiobook by Boitchik
The character, new to me, Ernst Grip, comes to life as a meticulous yet strong investigator who is thrust into a complex web of international criminal activity. The plot unfolds in Thailand, New York, Diego Garcia (a Pacific U.S. base) and follows the machinations of an assortment of (early in the book) tsunami survivors. Important to the story is Grip’s personal involvement with his lover, well wrought…A female FBI investigator is enlivening. And that the story has a moral center does much to enhance its quality as does the excellent denouement.
Review 3: After the Monsoon audiobook by Richard Delman
Difficult book to review. Pulse-pounding? Not.
The publisher’s blurb of this book makes it sound much more exciting and gripping (sorry) than it actually is. In spite of that, and probably because I just love the voice of David Colacci, I stayed with it and learned quite a bit about Sweden, Somalia and the other countries in the Horn of Africa, about which I knew virtually nothing before. I did know about the Somali pirates. They make a dramatic appearance in the beginning of the book, which is well-written. A ridiculously wealthy Swedish family has made the decision to drop out of the rat race, after making tons of money in the venture capital game. Karl-Adam worked for many years at Scandinavian Capital, a company in which the partners line their walls with multimillion-krone works of art. Karl-Adam was never a partner, but he still managed to compile a tidy fortune. He and his wife and kids appeared in many publicity shots at balls and yachting races and other enjoyments of the wealthy, and the publicity about these events turns out to be a horrible thing for them. Karl-Adam and Jenny have a daughter, Alexandra and a son, Sebastian. Sebastian suffers from epilepsy. The couple decide to take a trip around the continent of Africa and then, presumably, back up north to home in Sweden. In the process, though, they sail right through an area which they have been told to avoid, in no uncertain terms. This part of the Indian Ocean off the Horn of Africa is the lair of Somali pirates. The family is kidnapped in a violent struggle. They are then held as victims of a $10 million ransom demand. They are tortured, beaten, given exactly one bucket of water a day to address all of their water needs. We feel intensely sorry for them. They did nothing to deserve this, other than sail in an area of the ocean which is infested with human sharks. The attempt to rescue this family (I won’t even try to spell their last name) is one of the two foci of Inspector Ernst Grip, a Swedish cop who is sent down by himself to solve the murder of a Swedish man on a firing range. The trip to the range is kind of a lark, thought up by a Swedish lieutenant who decides that it would be fun to take along some of the Somali men who help them at their small military installation. On the firing range the Swedish lieutenant gets murdered by one bullet in the head. Inspector Grip spends the rest of his time in the book trying to solve both of these very knotty problems. Much of the book concerns spy stuff that doesn’t really hold my attention very well. It reads a good deal like John le Carre. Codes and lies and people in disguise and calls to upper management in Sweden who have no real idea of what is going on. I could have skipped a lot of this, and it would have, IMHO, helped increase the pace of the novel. The torture of the kidnapped family is described in small detail, and it is not fun to read. Not that it should be fun, but it could have been briefer. It is very fortunate that David Colacci narrates so well. I have listened to him read many books, almost the entire Abe Glitsky-Dismas Hardy series written by John Lescroart. Those books are some of my favorites, and Mr. Colacci bears a good deal of responsibility for that. In this book he voices many characters of both genders and a variety of ages, and you just do not hear a false note. There is a romantic-ish development near the halfway mark of the book between Insp. Grit and a woman named Iona, a half-black woman who plays piano in high-end hotels. She does some low-level spy work for Grit that becomes high-level work pretty quickly, just as the attraction between her and Grit develops. In the end, both crises get resolved, albeit with lots of drama and bloodshed and torture on our way there. Some of the torture is Byzantine, involving a bad guy being tied to the floor with ropes so that he can’t stand or lie down, for days, until he melts into a puddle of animal excrescence. Pardon me. For the very squeamish, you might want to skip this part.
Anyway, the book is well-written and very well-narrated, and I am thinking about listening to another one in the series, if it is available. However, fourteen hours is a long time. The book could easily have been cut down to about nine hours, and it would have improved it immensely. An illustration of one of my favorite principles: addition by subtraction. If you think about this, it applies all over the place. Think of weeding a garden, or going into therapy and losing some bad habits, or cleaning the junk out of your house and finding that some open space is beautiful. Etcetera. I see it everywhere.
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