African Ivory

The torturing hot African sun was directly overhead, beating down on the bleached, arid, dust-filled savannah. Everything it touched seemed to shimmer, radiating remorseless heat. There was no escape. This was not a place to be; only mad dogs and Englishmen were out at this time of day. The small group sheltering under the acacia bushes were neither mad nor Englishmen. But they were here. Greed the major factor for their presence in this unforgiving landscape.

Tsavo National Game Reserve was either hot and dry or wet and flooded. Full of wildlife: from the giant Rothschild giraffes (with their extended necks and distinctive orange and brown fur), to the gangs of unruly warthogs running through the bush, with their twenty offspring chasing each other's short, wiry, curly tails. The current season was the hot one. Everything stood still. The heat was intense, burning the red dusty soil, making it so hot your head felt like it would burst. Water was scarce, down to a few soured, mud clogged pools. But change was in the air. Huge black clouds gathered in the far distance over the Taita hills. When it finally broke, the deluge would come, washing the heat away, changing the dust to thick red mud. Flowers would rush to enjoy their short time to bloom. The watering holes would fill, and the great migration to the south would start. But now there was no respite. The deserted plains carried on forever in every direction, small stubby bushes and acacia trees the only haven from the intense sun. The savannah was as quiet as a graveyard at this time of day. Everything that walked, flew, or slithered knew to stay still and hide away until the sweltering ball of heat in the sky moved through its arc. Only later would there be some relief.

Under the cobalt blue, cloudless sky a nearly seven-foot-tall, gaunt, ebony tribesman was standing stock still. Perched on one leg, motionless. Frozen in time. Thick plaited curled ringlets of hair covered in cow grease hung down his back. A red and black tartan robe was draped over his shoulder and secured at the waist with a long leather thong. On his hip hung a fourteen-inch, brown, battered, hide scabbard, holding a razor-sharp blade. His feet were wrapped in sandals made from old car tires, with more leather wrapped around his ankles. From head to toe, this formidable warrior was covered in beads of many different colors: wrapped around his neck in bands, plaited into his dreadlocks, around his wrists and ankles, all making for a very impressive site. Finally, in his right hand, was a wicked looking spear with a six-foot-long, worn mahogany shaft and a blackened steel point. He was standing with his eyes closed, head cocked to the left and mouth slightly open. The puffs of wind gusting across the arid savannah had suddenly changed direction, veering almost 180 degrees. This could be trouble. The Masaai warrior was not concerned for himself. He had carefully smeared buffalo dung all over his body before they had left. It was the Muzungus, the stupid white men, that would cause the trouble. If he could smell their sweat, the prey, about 40 yards in front of them, would pick up the scent in seconds.
 

Synopsis
All William Brody wants to do is dive, fish, and enjoy the relaxing world of the tropics. He spends the long hot days sailing his wooden dhow in the serene, azure waters of the Indian Ocean. The years of action are long behind him now. His nightmares of war and death fading into the past. Slowly, he is relaxing into his new life. But, as usual, trouble come looking for him… Out fishing the rip currents for sword fish, thirty miles off shore, his line gets caught in the propeller of a smuggler's boat. Then Walking home from a bar, late one night, through the narrow dirty streets of an African town, Brody gets mugged by a desperate Chinese poaching gang and one of his old arch enemies. His quiet life of sailing and diving is ruined. Brody has to fight for a just cause: to save the last of the African elephants before the Chinese slaughter them all for profit. He is thrown into an evil world of slavery, corruption and poaching… On a two hundred mile journey along a crocodile infested river, in search of the people who wronged him and his crew, he finds a village full of corpses, making his mission personal. Brody and his crew are left in the jungle, outnumbered and out gunned, in a desperate fight to save the local tribe from murder and slavery. Against the odds… All he has left to rely on is his special forces training to get the job done and save the day. Enjoy this face paced adventure today! Although this book is the fourth part of a series, it is also enjoyable as a stand-alone novel.
Born and raised in the UK, Steve Braker grew up living on the coast. Naturally an outdoorsman, one could always find him anywhere near the water - on the beach, surfing and fishing or sailing and rock climbing. Soon the illustrious traveling bug bit him, and he spent a few years venturing throughout Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo, The Gambia, and India.