An International Crime and African Adventure Thriller (Sam Jardine Crime Conspiracy Thrillers Book 4)

Fiction - Thriller - Conspiracy
447 Pages
Reviewed on 05/16/2022
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Author Biography

International Award-Winning & Bestselling Author of Sam Jardine Crime Conspiracy Thrillers Series.
Christopher Hepworth has been a professional negotiator for over thirty years, with some of the largest and best-known companies in the world. He has won numerous prestigious awards in his chosen profession of procurement and developed many of the strategies and techniques that are now widely used across the industry.

Born in the UK in 1961 & raised in Zambia in central Africa like his hero, Wilbur Smith, Christopher now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, Anne & four children.

The exotic characters in his books reflect his fascination with the charismatic & proud, but often maligned warrior nations around the world, whose stories are screaming to be told. In his books, Christopher’s desk-bound corporate warriors come face to face with those proud peoples, who have suffered the misfortunes of fate & history but their dignity & aspirations remain intact.

Christopher Hepworth has created a new brand of hero for the twenty-first century. Like James Bond, or the lawyers of John Grisham’s thrillers, Sam Jardine must use his occupational skills to thwart the ambitions of ruthless villains who seek to subordinate the world with their depraved sense of moral values. Armed only with a sense of justice, respect for ancient warrior cultures & an extraordinary talent for negotiation, can he win the day or will he be engulfed in the cesspit of corporate politics? For the sake of world peace, let’s hope Sam Jardine is up to the task.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tom Gauthier for Readers' Favorite

Tusker is a stimulating journey through exotic places with equally exotic characters leading the way. Protagonist Sam Jardine carries the mantle of an amalgam of Cotton Malone, James Bond, and Scot Harvath to new and intriguing levels as he confronts antagonists who define the term "depths of depravity". From boardrooms of England to the wilderness of Southwest Africa, and from the search for a rare earth mineral to the rescue of a rare breed of elephants, Sam Jardine takes us on a perilous and captivating journey that tweaks your every emotion.

The anthropomorphizing of the Makolo elephants is a masterstroke, believable and integral to the enveloping subplot. The characters are as deep and complex as any you'll find. The complex love interest, Freja, a guide through emotional conflict, and the near-magical antics of the puckish African, Tennis Wina, keep Sam on a quest that even he didn't know existed at first, but soon reaches hypersonic speed. Equally complex is the evil Schenck, in juxtaposition to Freja, Sam, and the tribes. All this is under the hovering veil of the saga of the now ancient Hélène Sondheim who ultimately holds the answers Sam seeks. But you must wait until the end … as a good book always requires.

Christopher Hepworth deserves all the accolades he's received for his writing if Tusker is an example. The brilliant storytelling that can weave such widely varied time periods, geography, cultures, and characters into a coherent and deliciously entertaining tale is the epitome of the novelist's skills. While bombs, bullets, and bombastic behavior abound, they are quietly overshadowed by the tenderness, tenacity, and talent of the emotionally engaging cast of characters. Good writers draw on life experiences to underwrite authenticity in plots, and Hepworth is no exception. Growing up in Zambia is reflected in the sights, smells, swirling dust, and animal roars of Africa that encompass the readers of Tusker. For non-stop action, engaging characters, complex relationships, Chinese Communist plotters, a neo-Nazi evil cult, and ruthless elephant hunters bent on killing the soul of the Makolo tribe, Tusker offers unsurpassed brilliant writing from Christopher Hepworth. My thanks to Christopher for this brilliant experience, and my highest praise for his story of Tusker.

Sally Asnicar

5.0 out of 5 stars Another thrilling Sam Jardine adventure

Christopher Hepworth’s latest book begins in England. Sam Jardine faces a hostile board as he tries to garner support to develop a cutting-edge battery that uses a rare earth metal. With his plan in jeopardy, and the Chinese government keen to acquire the rights to mine the metal, Sam uses his unique negotiating skills to secure the mine contract for himself.
Sam travels to Zambia and discovers that in addition to the mining rights, he has also acquired a rundown safari lodge. Here he has his first encounter with a tusker, a descendant of the Makololo elephants who leads him to supercentenarian Hélène Sondheim, who is close to death. She tells him the tragic story of the demise of the Makololo tribe at the hands of brutal Imperial German forces, and of her love for the tribe’s leader.
Sam soon discovers that he is facing his own dangers, from ruthless poachers killing wildlife on his land, to descendants of the Imperial German forces bent on driving him out of Zambia, and the Chinese Government’s attempts to sway the Zambian Government to turn over the mining rights to them.
Sam must use all his ingenuity and the help of allies and friends to defeat these threats, find the precious metal’s source, and save the last of the Makololo elephants. As he finds himself falling for the beautiful but headstrong great-great granddaughter of Hélène Sondheim, he also has to face the demons of his past or risk derailing their relationship forever.
Tusker is a fast-paced, artfully written adventure. Hepworth brings the scenery and climate of Zambia to life in a way that only someone who has lived there and experienced it is able. It’s a moving and at times heartbreaking story of the precarious reality for the wildlife and the native people.
A guaranteed page-turner!

Sri Gopalan

5.0 out of 5 stars A splendid entertainer that also makes you stop and think!
The Sam Jardine series just keeps getting better and better.

After having enjoyed the first three books in the series, I was looking forward to this one, and it did not disappoint. Christopher Hepworth’s novels are well researched and set in exotic locations, and this one is no exception.

I love books where a ‘procurement’ professional / negotiator is the protagonist. There aren’t too many of these, and I love how Christopher has merged the latest technology of today with the ancient cultures and lands of Africa.

There is a personal connection the author has with Zambia, and that is brought to the fore in the novel. It is almost as if you were there, and now added it as a travel destination in my bucket list, adding it to destinations like Greenland from the previous Sam Jardine books.

All in all, well worth the read, you won’t be disappointed.

Carole Poissant

A page-turning story with many awe-inspiring plots and twists. Besides the human element, the majestic story of the elephants is captivating. I highly recommend this book.

Walter S.

A thriller that also has a lot of heart.
Number four in the Sam Jardine series takes a very different turn, as Christopher Hepworth has first-hand knowledge and a wealth of research of a little-known aspect of African history that needs to be told. As usual, Sam Jardine manages to end up in the middle.
Illegal mining and ivory poachers provide plenty of conflict. There are shootouts galore and more than a few explosions. As always, Hepworth’s characters stand out amid the action, and readers will enjoy the ways they are brought to life. In a way that readers will also come to appreciate, the elephants may be even more memorable than the humans, as Hepworth has assigned them a role that will cause readers to connect with them on a level that is a subtle blend of emotional and spiritual experience.
It felt as if far too much time has passed since The Last Oracle. But is has been well worth the wait.