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Reviewed by Lucinda E Clarke for Readers' Favorite
Tambula is the name of an African country created by author Susan Wüthrich. The story, based on real events, begins with a road trip down to Mozambique. Dek and his friend Benny, who drags along a reluctant Nigel, set off on holiday at the same time that Dek’s wife and his young son fly home to England to visit family. The VW camper van breaks down twice on the way and Dek is caught by the police at the Mozambique border without a valid driving licence. Things go from bad to worse as Dek steps in and flirts with the attractive bar owner that Benny fancies, while Nigel disappears with his new boyfriend. After several horrific events, Benny takes off for Johannesburg with new friends, leaving Dek to return home alone to false accusations made by a local neighbour and his vehicle finally giving up the ghost. Life gets tougher for Dek as he is swept into a circle of friends who live on the wealthy side of town, but his new acquaintances are not what they seem and help to get him into further trouble. To complete his despair, he discovers the secret that his wife Liz has been keeping from him from before they were married.
I love books set in Africa and I was thrilled to choose Tambula by Susan Wüthrich. The story was entertaining, the words flowed smoothly and it was well edited. Mentions of many things throughout the book show that the author is familiar with Africa, and I’d recommend this as a trip down memory lane for other expatriates. The scenes are evocative of the area, and I loved the characters, especially Dek, who is so well drawn he leaps off the page. Not that I liked him, even a little bit, because he makes one stupid decision after another and is his own worst enemy. The story line kept me turning the pages and I found the book hard to put down. It deserves all of the 5 stars I have given it. A fun and enjoyable read.