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Reviewed by Divine Zape for Readers' Favorite
Malice on the Mekong by Nancy Swing is one of those books that combines different genres – thriller, mystery, suspense – to offer great entertainment to readers and fans with diverse reading tastes. Set against a very captivating colonial setting of Vientiane, Laos, in the 1990s, the story deals with a murder mystery and an investigation that will keep readers engaged throughout the book. Anjali Rao might be the indifferent wife of a U.N. official, but when a dead body washes ashore, she knows she must find out the truth. Is she ready for what she will discover?
The author introduces conflict at the very beginning of the story with breathtaking language: “Then he saw something odd, something white caught in a half-floating tree hooked into the bank. The boy on the lead buffalo went to investigate, leaving the family herd in the care of Younger Brother. The smaller boy’s nostrils flared, the only sign that he was left torn between the self-importance of responsibility and an almost unbearable curiosity.” Nancy Swing’s descriptive prose is very powerful and evocative, a style she uses to brilliantly capture the emotions and thoughts of characters, while painting a beautiful tapestry on which the gripping story is masterfully designed. Malice on the Mekong is so beautifully told that readers become part of it. It's hard to put down. This book is classic, a story that will be remembered for the beautiful characters, the unforgettable setting, and events so well narrated that they seem to be true.