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Reviewed by JC Minnaar for Readers' Favorite
Despicable by Timothy Bryan takes a creative and unique approach to the Rwandan genocide of 1994 between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes. Kalisa Kinigi, a survivor of the genocide, now lives in Reno, Nevada having fled her homeland with her father after the brutalities and scars of war were forever burned into her memory. Developing self-sabotaging traits like gambling, alcoholism, and infidelity, she struggles to stay afloat while taking care of her son, Seth. After the disappearance of a man she met during a routine security patrol, things start spiraling out of control as people close to Kalisa go missing, strange cars are following her, and her paranoia kicks into overdrive. Little does Kalisa know that the events transpiring now have their roots in the Rwandan genocide of years prior.
Timothy Bryan’s Despicable keeps its cards close and had my mind racing with the stakes involved. I initially thought the early plot points didn’t drive the story anywhere. That was until the final chapters when the plot came together remarkably well and to a satisfying conclusion. I praise Timothy Bryan for keeping the mystery and suspense until the very end, a talent very few writers manage successfully. Kalisa is also a wonderful character; she has numerous flaws but attempted to be a better person throughout the story. The nightmarish descriptions of the atrocities she endured are vivid and did an amazing job of placing me within her recollections. Despicable has an amazing plot conclusion and gruesome moments aplenty. I recommend it to fans of historical fiction and mystery/suspense.