Review Blog

Sep 29 2017

The Cull by Tony Park

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Macmillan Australia, 2017. ISBN 9781743548455
(Age: Senior Fiction - not appropriate for students under 16.) Former mercenary Sonja Kurtz is hired by a billionaire business tycoon, Julia Clyde-Smith to head an elite squad whose goal is to take down Africa's poaching kingpins. While Sonja tries to stay under the radar, she is targeted by the underworld syndicate known as The Scorpions and begins to suspect that Julia's crusade has gone too far. The soldier realizes they're fighting a war on numerous fronts, against enemies both known and unknown.
Author Tony Park uses his experiences as a former army officer living in Africa, in his 14th novel. The subject of modern day wildlife wars makes for gripping reading. The Cull draws attention to the often violent battle residents of South Africa and surrounding countries are experiencing daily.
I have not read any of the previous novels and so found that a new reader has to piece together a puzzle of 'who's who'. The back stories of several of the main characters and their prior relationships are glossed over and as a result complex scenes between key characters can be a little confusing. The character development of Mario, for example, uses quite explicit violent sex scenes to demonstrate how he has a track record of losing control during battle. While the novel is a good read in itself, I would not be expecting to see this one in many senior fiction collections. However, I would recommend for a very mature student studying poaching warfare.
Clare Thompson

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