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Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite
Terror Tree by Tom Gauthier is a thriller that follows Elizabeth Pomeroy and her friends as they face dangers and capture while on a safari in Kenya, a vacation that was supposed to be fun and adventurous. Elizabeth is accompanied by Brigit Mead, Olivia Lobuglio, and Madison Owen, and not long after their arrival they quickly become targets of the al-Shabaab terrorist group in a dangerous pursuit. A giant baobab tree becomes a place of solace, but the tree reveals more than that. Elizabeth must fight to survive, each moment filled with uncertainty. Their capture sets in motion a series of activities that brings interesting characters onto the scene, including the best minds in Victrix — the Mossad Agent Devoŕah Yediot, the leader of the Israeli Sayeret Matkal, the former CIA Special Ops Rodrigo MacQuiddy, and others. Can these women survive the ordeal and get out unscathed?
Tom Gauthier has written a story with a brilliant plot and in a style that renders it realistic. The characters feature an interesting selection, from the terrorist leader Sabrina Sherafiyah Lutewaith to characters with military backgrounds, and civilians. Amos Mead, lawyer and former major in the Marine Corps, and his wife psychologist Brigit Mead were some of my most favorites. The interactions between Brigit and the terrorist leader create a lot of drama while deepening plot elements. It is interesting how the author develops the relationships between the characters and Victrix Forum, relationships that define motivation in the story. Tom Gauthier writes with fluidity and captures images of the safari in a way that transforms the whole reading experience into one of adventure. Terrorism against the backdrop of an African setting is written skillfully, with stunning details, and from a realistic perspective. Terror Tree is pulsating, packed with action, with well-developed themes, strong characters, and a twisty plot.