Davis Bunn has produced another great Marc Royce thriller, this one set in Nairobi. Marc arrives there as Mount Elgon volcano is spewing smoke, ash, and lava, making breathing difficult and truck travel a crawl. Refugees flow faster than the lava, and there seems to be no end to the river of humans.
Marc has been sent to Nairobi to find two people, a sister and a brother, and uncover a secret so deadly it threatens to kill not only the land but also the people near mysterious farm plots set up by the Chinese. The sister, a nurse by the name of Kitra, is in a camp of refugees. The brother, a doctor named Serge, is missing, presumed dead by some. Ostensibly Marc is there as a supply officer for Lodestone, but his assignments go far deeper and his commander far higher than the rogue United Nations commander in the area.
He finds several unexpected allies in the camp. One is the camp chaplain, another is a sergeant in the UNHCR brigade, then there are two managers from Lodestone; and then there is the youngest village elder Marc has ever experienced. Joseph, that village elder, insists Marc has been sent by God to heal their land.
Kitra, however, considers him an enemy--working for Lodestone, who she insists kidnapped her brother.
Which is a shame, because Marc is more than a little interested in her.
Davis Bunn's books never disappoint. Intrigue and danger stalk the characters through this suspenseful novel. Marc Royce, whom we met in Bunn's masterpiece Lion of Babylon, is geared for another wild adventureâ€”this time in Kenya. Are those dispatched to aid native refugees somehow involved in further disrupting their fragile lives? US and the UN involvement up the perilous stakes, and Royce wonders whom he can truly trust.
Forging ahead amidst chaotic circumstances, Royce works to bring hope and justice to the group he's sent to assist. Impressed by Charles, the native pastor, and Philip, the wise young head chief, Royce works with them to solve a problem much larger than he expected to uncover. He also falls for the Jewish Christian relief worker, Kitra, whose brother has gone missing.
Bunn, as usual, weaves an involved plot into a fascinating story filled with thought-provoking issues. Philip had dreamed of a hero who would deliver his people, a shujaa. He told Royce that Royce must decide if he was ready for this role. They both knew the true meaning of a real heroâ€”sacrifice. Royce proves his willingness and ability to give his all to the task. Some violence is involved, of course, but I appreciate the author skipping explicit details.
This book was just announced as a Christy finalist in the suspense category. Congratulations to one of my favorite authors!
High-energy, heart-racing ride from the first page
January 26, 2013
Marc Royce is undercover again, this time in the deepest parts of Africa, working to expose corruption that could wipe out entire tribes. He races against time, puts his life in danger and offers hope to these forgotten people. Davis Bunn, through the eyes of Marc Royce, shares the truth that faith isn't limited to certain races, times, or generations. Salvation and the love of Jesus Christ reach even the remotest tribes of Africa. The hand of God knows no boundaries. He will use the faithful to reach the lost wherever they may be and let them be a voice for those without a voice. Rare Earth is novel of faith, love and healing and it offers a high-energy, heart-racing ride from the first page to the last.
-Eileen K Parsons, author of "The First Rose of Summer"
From the first page of "Rare Earth," by Davis Bunn*, I was drawn into the tension and intrigue as Marc Royce begins his assignment in Kenya, where he was sent by his employer, Lodestone Associates. Lodestone was a major provider of armed security services around the world. In Kenya, Lodestone was supplementing UN security details, also providing Medevac helicopters, field hospitals, and personnel. It recently had added a new division that provided emergency relief supplies. The U.S. State Department was receiving information that someone at a very high level of power was providing extremely profitable supply contracts to a corporate ally in return for kickbacks. But now things were heating up. The State Department was receiving rumors that Lodestone was up to something far worse. Marc was undercover in Kenya as a field agent for Lodestone, but in actuality he was a covert op for State Department Intel. Action and danger was expected by Marc when he entered Kenya. What he did not expect was that he would become so personally involved with the people whose land had been stolen and who barely survived in the squalor and chaos of the refugee camps. And he certainly didn't expect to become involved with the cause of the lovely Messianic Jew, who was an aid worker at the Red Cross camp. This is a wonderful story of how Marc Royce, a group of displaced Christian tribes in Kenya, and a kibbutz of persecuted Messianic Jews in Israel, work together toward a common goal of bringing justice and finding a place that can be called "home."
Once again Davis Bunn made his characters jump to life from the pages of the book. He provides just the right amount of detail and description to draw you into the story, all the while building layers of suspense and action. As badly as I wanted to know how the story ended, I was sorry to finally reach the end. I really liked these characters and wanted the story to somehow carry on. It seems that Davis Bunn always has a great story to write. I look forward to his next one.
*This book was received free through Bethany House Book Reviewers in exchange for my unbiased review.