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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
The second book in The Hussar Cycle Series, Terrain by Hesse Caplinger opens in 1995 when Marek Hussar and his team prepare to move against the RUF with the Kamajors. But Hussar is recalled for the task of escorting Jugun Koma, who is being groomed to become the future minister. Jugun’s brother, General Soloma Koma, wants him to become the Minister of Mineral Rights and has already taken the necessary steps. The story moves forward to 2008 where a Greek actor, Argos Argyros, is given the chance to act in a major docu-drama courtesy of a man who goes by the name of Mr. Lanze. And then there is Freddie Oslo, a Frenchman working for an investment firm in London, who is unaware that he will be used to cover up a conspiracy under the pretext of being sent on a holiday. The lives of these characters will soon intertwine, which will lead to a compounding of repercussions.
Terrain is a bleak outcry against the opportunism that festers in the African region. Hesse Caplinger writes with a stylistic aggressiveness that sustains the tension even in moments when characters are engaged in a discussion. He provides interesting characters that make the point that every step along the way is paved with intrigue, corruption, deceit, and opportunism—themes that you would typically encounter in absorbing thrillers. Here, you will witness three lives that intersect, and there is so much more to it than just intersecting. All of the characters in this story have an incendiary motivation that stirs them to take action in presented situations. I can deconstruct how carefully Caplinger portrays the motives of his characters, but I will leave it up to you to read Terrain and get absorbed in a non-linear world that is gripping and intriguing.