Predators: A Botswana Mystery
Leo Painter is the CEO of Earth Global, a large energy, mining and real-estate development firm. He and his party of company executives are traveling in Botswana to consult with the government of Botswana about accessing their extractable resources. Meanwhile, Sekoa, an aging, mortally ill lion, is being forced out by younger rivals and hyenas on the Botswana plains. The parallel stories unfold against the political and social backdrop of a modernizing Botswana.
“A bit rougher-edged than Alexander McCall Smith’s genteel “No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series, this mystery will still attract his fans and those who like Michael Stanley’s Detective Kubu series (e.g., The Second Death of Goodluck Tinubu ).” –Library Journal of Predators
“Through parallel stories, Ramsay’s clever stand-alone shows the ruthlessness of the business and the animal worlds without resorting to gimmickry. Ramsay (Impulse) matches keen characterizations with an obvious affection for Botswana, a complicated country that’s more than Alexander McCall Smith’s “quaint mysteries,” as one character observes.” –Publishers Weekly of Predators
Predators come in all forms in this stand-alone mystery by the author of the Ike Schwartz series. When Leo Painter, CEO of Earth Global, travels to Botswana to assess that country’s natural resources, Painter’s COO schemes to acquire enough stock in the company to take command. Ramsay parallels the story of these corporate predators with that of the real thing: an ailing lion, called Sekoa by the Botswanese, who teeters on the edge of losing his pride to a younger, healthier challenger. Painter, even with heart disease, is healthier than the AIDS-inflicted Sekoa, yet the CEO faces multiple challengers, including his bumbling stepson, who is urged on by his slutty wife to claim his just deserts. The law of the jungle, as portrayed here, is more straightforward than human behavior, and animals are altogether more admirable than people. There’s nothing subtle about the analogy Ramsay draws between animal and human predators, but his descriptions of the vivid landscape and its inhabitants win the day. An unusual, sometimes clumsy, but finally engaging mystery. –Michele Leber