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Monday 22 June 2015

‘The Furnace of Hell’ by Richard Wilson and John Wilson

Published by Matador,
28 November 2015.
ISBN: 978-1-78462-025-7

Undeterred by their prior experiences of international adventure and misadventure, Hardington Tachman and his wife Mei Li set off to West Africa for a new life.

Drawn unwillingly into the religious confrontations between Christians and Muslims, the couple are also disturbed by the ongoing practice of juju (local witchcraft) and the harsh punishments meted out to locals and foreigners alike for what, by their western standards, seem to be minor infractions. When Mei Li goes missing, Hardtack is distraught. But not as devastated as when she reappears on a mysterious and dangerous mission, suffering from amnesia and with no memory of her husband...

Hardtack is a cross between the adventuring spirit of Lee Child's Jack Reacher, if Jack had family ties and roots of any sort, and Dan Brown's academic Robert Langdon, thrown into the sort of situations that Indiana Jones might relish.

When I realised this was the second in a series, I was initially concerned that I would find it hard to pick up the story. The authors immediately set my mind at rest with a précis in the first couple of chapters so I would reassure all potential readers that, even if they hadn't read the first book, this novel is eminently enjoyable.

The story is well-paced, the colourful descriptions of life in various locations around the world suggest painstaking research and the characters are sympathetic. A thumping good read
Reviewer: Joanna Kennedy

Richard Wilson is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Rutgers University. A graduate of Princeton University, he is the author of numerous books and articles. Before beginning his career in academia, he worked on Wall Street and served as an Intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy.

John Wilson was Assistant Dean at Harvard Law School, Associate Dean at Boston University School of Law and Dean and Professor of Law at Golden Gate University School of Law, San Francisco.

Joanna Kennedy  studied French and German at university. She works in the aerospace industry and is a chartered marketer in the UK. She describes herself as a voracious reader, enjoying genres as varied as crime thrillers, historical fiction and autobiographies. Joanna lives in London. She is the daughter of crime thriller writer Leigh Russell.

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