Kidnapped on Safari is the third book in the Mbuno/Pero series. There are multiple references to Mbuno and Pero’s previous adventures so I wouldn’t say this can be read as a standalone.
Plot to Story Development
The story starts with Pero and his team on a wildlife documentary expedition in Kenya. They receive bad news – Mbuno’s nephew, Ube, is missing. Ube is a safari guide in a wildlife sanctuary in Tanzania and he was with three Americans tourists. Something went wrong during the leopard chase/photography and Ube requested the tourists to crawl back to their jeep and drive straight to the airport. Ube stayed behind and is now nowhere to be found.
Mbuno and Pero, along with Bob (one of the tourists) go to Tanzania on a rescue mission. Pero also works for the CIA. When requested for help, his CIA boss asks him to rescue Ube and run for their lives. Pero doesn’t understand why his boss said so until he reaches the compound where Ube is currently held prisoner.
Rescue Ube mission is just the half of the story. Pero and Mbuno find something else in the compound and they decide to go back.
The story is well-plotted. A CIA agent, rescue mission in the middle of the night in Africa and much more, this story had so much potential. The writing seemed off at places – the conversations were difficult to follow at times. The emotions of the characters are explained in detail – which, in my opinion, isn’t necessary. The story gets a tad dragged in the second half – their second mission, that is.
There were too many characters and I had a hard time remembering who’s who. Since this is the third book in the series, Pero and Mbuno’s characters are well-established. But for someone like me (who hasn’t read the first two books), it was a bit difficult to follow the references made to their previous adventures. Having said that, Pero and Mbuno form quite a pair. Their camaraderie is well-portrayed throughout the story. Their bond is so strong that they are ready to do anything for each other.
The ending was nothing short of an action-movie sequence. The ending does justice to the tension and the suspense built in the second half of the book. A railway hijack, weapons and high-end chase keep one hooked on to the story. A what-happens-next kinda scenario is sure to keep one on the edge of their seat.
Overall, Kidnapped on Safari was a good read. Irrespective of the niggles, I liked the story.
Writing Style: 3/5
Plot/Story Development: 3.5/5
Character Development: 3/5
Overall Rating: 3/5
Title: Kidnapped on Safari
Author: Peter Riva
Published on: 21st January 2020
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers
Many thanks to FSB Associates and NetGalley for the ARC. This is my honest and unbiased opinion.