In 1930s Southern Rhodesia gold is found on a farm but the all powerful British South Africa Company holds the mineral rights and its intervention could mean ruin for the discoverers.
The farmer and his business partner, Daniel Walker, decide to conceal the find and smuggle the gold to South Africa.
The initial effort is successful but the district’s senior police officer is determined to prevent smuggling to the extent that it becomes an all-consuming obsession.
Can they thwart the policeman, or will the conflict end in death and disaster for all? The story has all the elements of a first class thriller with suspense maintained at a nerve stretching level right to the last page.
There is nothing more refreshing than to read about a period that you don’t know anything about and to feel that a window has been opened onto that world. This novel has that quality. The author is able to create a living image of the Southern Rhodesian bush lands.
Myfanwy Cook, The Historical Novels Review
The period detail and African settings are nicely drawn … a suspenseful read, as good of its kind as any more commercial product.
Wayne Burrows, The Big Issue in the North
‘A small publisher taking on the conglomerates in the thriller field is a David and Goliath scenario, and Michael J Hunt’s Matabele Gold is clearly aspiring to Wilbur Smith territory … the story of one man standing up to the power of an empire … as he becomes the target of a policeman’s obsession with smuggling. The period detail and African setting are nicely drawn … the book delivers a suspenseful read, as good of its kind as any more commercial product.’ Wayne Burrows, The Big Issue in the North
‘There is nothing more refreshing than to read a novel about a place and period that you know nothing about, and to feel that a window has been opened onto that world. This novel has that quality. The author has created a living image of the Southern Rhodesian bushlands.’ Myfanwy Cook, The Historical Novel Society Review
Comments from Book Crossers and other readers:
‘I learned more about British colonialism in Africa than I ever thought I would. The historical context was established naturally, without eclipsing the unfolding story’
‘Matabele Gold is a very readable book and I can thoroughly recommend it’
‘This is the first time I have read any novels by Michael J Hunt; I am very impressed’
‘This is a very exciting first book … it has the tone of Conrad’s ‘Heart of Darkness’
‘A thoroughly professional novel, authentic in every way … draws the reader in. The descriptions of the country bring it alive. The different nuances of the characters’ speech were captured authoritatively … well paced and well structured …’
‘I found it so refreshing to read a good, straightforward story where the issues and social comment were not rammed down your throat …it was beautifully evocative of Africa … I felt I was there …’
‘The characters are all believable, once I started it I found it hard to put down’
‘What a super book. Interesting, well-drawn characters … a great back-drop … I particularly enjoyed the description of Bulawayo …’
‘… I was totally absorbed … I cared what happened to the characters … it is exciting, well crafted and flows beautifully … a novel of suspense, it has a classic twist resolved only in the last two pages …’
‘A compulsive read … a wonderful evocation of place, with moral issues to be addressed’
‘Entertaining and precise … brings Southern Rhodesia to life … languid description captures the landscape, while a thrilling story keeps you hooked to events. The narrative, though gently literary in style, drives a powerful plot, developed in every detail …’
‘The conflict between the protagonists is brilliantly described, and results in an excellent story with the suspense maintained right to the end …’
‘Awesome book! I would definitely recommend. The characters are very believable and so is the story. I would love to read another book by this author’
‘Engaging. The fiction was so convincingly rooted in ingenious detail that I was tricked into being there. The transference of the people and their experiences from the trenches to Africa was powerful’
‘I don’t remember when I last read an entire novel in half a week. It is a damn good read, gripping and enthralling, a solid plot with some fine characterisation, and just enough local cultural and geographical knowledge to make me want to know more about it. I was right there at the river’
‘… a real page turner … the author has a keen eye for human nature. The characters were drawn with clarity, yet it is sparing in description. Just brilliant’
Title: Matabele Gold
Author: Michael J. Hunt
Publisher: BeWrite Books, UK
After years of absence, Daniel Walker is returning to his homeland in Africa where the remnants of the Boer War still affect the life of the residents.
For a while Daniel was content to work for the company that controlled the entire area, but in time he set himself up as an independent consultant. The work with another in precious metals found on a small farm brought him into sharing the danger of exposure and perhaps imprisonment.
A developing relationship with the local policeman’s wife complicates his life farther. How will it all end?
Talented author Michael J. Hunt shows us the way life had to be lived by native Africans and the defeated Boer families under the rule of a large English owned company with power of life and death in these remote areas.
Mr. Hunt shows us the skills and subterfuges this forced people to develop simply to exist where they had no legal protection. A tale well worth the time to read for anyone who enjoys history and the reality behind it.
Recommended to any reader looking for an interesting story set in an interesting time. Enjoy. I sure did.
Anne K. Edwards