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4.45  ·  Rating details ·  33 ratings  ·  20 reviews
A historical, political thriller that delivers! Page-turning to the point I had to make an effort to slow down — Andrew Greig

The official verdict was accidental death.

In 1956 photojournalist Annie Fayol had drowned in a rip tide off the coast of Cameroon. They said she shouldn’t have gone skinny-dipping on her own.

Nearly twenty years later her sister Candace finds a cache
ebook, 384 pages
Published November 7th 2017 by Unbound Digital
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Average rating 4.45  · 
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Di Paterson
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved every minute of this book. As always, with good historical fiction, the lines blur between fact and fiction, and the whole plot was very credible. It was an insightful journey back to the seventies, and to a place which is unfamiliar, and which, consequently, made the perfect backdrop for the twists and turns of the intrigue. I thought the characters were well developed, and the historical context had me constantly googling for more information. Taking the historical aspect out, it's an ...more
Sam A
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book. Read it cover to cover in a few days. I'm a big fan of crime thrillers and this one doesn't disappoint. More Harry Kaplan please!
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This has been a fabulous read! I don't normally read African fiction as I live in Africa and find that these tend to be unrealistic but this one, set in the 70's was well written and depicted the area well. The premise was a good one and the blend of truth and fiction was seamless, to the point I couldn't tell where one began and the other left off but it was a well conceived plot. I will be looking forward with interest for this author's next book!
Mar 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a cracking political thriller. It grips the reader and takes them on a roller-coaster ride through a dark world of corruption, money and power in two periods (1950s and 1970s) in Europe and west Africa. The central characters are an American private investigator (Harry Kaplan) who is hired by Candace Fayol to investigate the mysterious death of her sister in Cameroon in 1956. There is also a cool, attractive Irish/American diplomat and possible foreign agent (Eileen O’Connell) who is inv ...more
Ivy Ngeow
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ebolowa is a smart and slick political thriller which will keep you guessing to the end. It is April 1974. PI Harry Kaplan has been hired in his Chicago office by pretty doctor, Candace Fayol to investigate the death of her sister in 1956, a photographer for Life magazine. Meanwhile a third in, a subplot from another character viewpoint is introduced, that of M. Benet in France. The Irish/American Ice Maiden diplomat Eileen O’Connell who appears in both in the 1950s and the 1970s, connects the p ...more
Francis Byng
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
Not for the slow-witted or faint-hearted!

In a world plunged into economic chaos by the Oil Crisis of 1973, world-weary Chicago PI Harry Kaplan reluctantly takes on a cold case - the drowning of a headstrong young photojournalist in a notorious riptide off the coast of Cameroon.

But poking about in these murky waters stirs up some inconvenient truths that many people would prefer to remain hidden…..

This sprawling thriller cleverly mingles fact with fiction in a tale about the treachery and corrup
Oct 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Thriller! That's an understatement, you just can't put this book down. The story is built around an actual murder in Cameroon in the 1970's. A young investigative photojournalist is found dead and naked having been caught in a powerful rip-tide off the coast of Ebolowa. Circumstances are suspicious but authorities determine the death accidental. Twenty years later the dead girl's sister discovers a box of photos that reopens her anguish. She has always believed her sister's death was not acciden ...more
Lew Sargentich
Feb 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is a wonderful combination of particular scenes you can taste and small (market stalls, a rip tide, gun running) and an overall plot that ties things together. In this exciting narrative, the personal turns out to be the political. By following the leads in a murder investigation, the reader comes to a rich understanding of a history -- a true one -- of intrigue.

My test for success of a complicated thriller is how the story works when, toward the end, you take your eyes off the page an
May 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Ebolowa is a multifaceted murder mystery/ political thriller based on a true story.  In 1956, a young photojournalist investigating the volatile political environment of Cameroon is found dead.  The verdict is accidental death. Two decades later, her younger sister hires Harry Kaplan to find out who her sister was with at the time of her death and find out what really happened.  The more Harry digs, the more obvious it becomes that Annie Fayol learned too much and became close to the wrong peopl ...more
Valerie Bradley
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I just finished Ebolowa with great pleasure. Big wow! The characters -- especially the minor characters -- are incredibly well drawn. I love meeting the Dutch hotelier, Fitz, Pleven, Bamenda, and Esther. I admire Miller way of making the political and colonial background clear by the slow build-up of detail and connections. His ability to evoke scenes and interiors puts us in the time and place. A great combination of mystery and history -- a history that not many know but should. Here's hoping ...more
Emily Owen
Oct 25, 2017 rated it liked it
I read this as part of The Pigeonhole serialisation - my first experience of this way of reading. It was a gripping story, but with some odd and hard to follow plot twists and grammatical errors that I find hard to ignore. Has the makings of a really good read with some refinement and I enjoyed the interweaving of historical fact and murder mystery fiction.
Diane Challenor
Sep 01, 2018 marked it as abandoned
This story wasn’t for me. I did not finish it. It’s a political thriller, set in a period I know little about (the years after WWII, up till the 70’s), and I have no interest in, because it’s so complicated. I’m sure there are other readers that would enjoy it. I was intrigued enough to skim to the end.
Gail Wylde
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pigeonhole
Wow, let me just get my breath back! I was a bit hesitant about reading this book but I'm so glad I did. This is a thriller based around real events in Cameroon in the early 70s, events I knew absolutely nothing about. I found myself googling quite a bit, I learnt a lot!! The characters are very strong and apart from Harry and Candace I didn't trust any of them!! I can't wait for this to be out in paper copy so that my husband can read it (he's a traditional book person!). I know he will enjoy i ...more
Sandy Hogarth
Oct 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Intelligent, exciting, and I'm not a thriller reader. Get hold of a copy.
Liz Deakin
Oct 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic book, I was gripped from start to end. The author has successfully managed to weave historical facts into a completely believable thriller with some very tense moments, (remember to breath)! Great read, I thoroughly recommend.
Kate Maddock
Jan 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put this thriller down! You have conspiracy, excitement, historical background all in a great plot! What more do you need in a thriller. I want to read the next one now!
Def recommend to all.
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written, well paced and gripping story. I grew up in Africa in the exact era this is set, and the tensions and entitlement of the white expat classes who were still living there, post Empire, are well portrayed. The characters are engaging, the setting convincing. Moreover, actual, historical events even provided a killer plot. (less)
Lalage Hampson
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thrilling read - gripping from early chapters. At times I needed to check up on the characters (possible better to have had list at front of book to be found earlier!) Plenty to think about and digest. Lots to learn. Don't be tempted to read too fast as there is a richness which shouldn't be missed.
Jane Radford
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read this shortly after finishing Gavin Esler’s A Scandalous Man - the two books are similar in that they take actual political events as the heart of their story. Ebolowa carried me along even more than Esler’s novel. There are also echoes of The Constant Gardener but it is no way derivative. The pace is fast and the characters are well drawn and, although the story is convoluted, the narrative is clear. Some of the more dramatic scenes are filmic in quality - the encounter with the rip tide ...more
Jan 25, 2018 added it
This is a political thriller rich with excitement and a kind of grimy glamour that perfectly set the era - great stuff. A fascinating look at a time when the needs of empire shift into the needs of corporations and companies, both ruthless in their rapaciousness. I learned a great deal at the same time as thoroughly enjoying the ride.
Tracy Dearling
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Aug 13, 2018
Elizabeth Labrow
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Oct 19, 2017
marie jutras
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May 27, 2018
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Karin Maddock
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Tony Dowmunt
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Dec 18, 2017
Richard Forshaw-Smith
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Taught Mexican and Spanish history at universities in UK and US before turning to noir thrillers. Fascinated by 'what-if' questions and tension between fact and fiction. First book in Harry Kaplan series, THE WRONG DOMINO, was shortlisted for CWA Debut Dagger award. Graduate of UEA/Guardian Masterclass Finish a Novel with Gillian Slovo. Second Harry Kaplan case, EBOLOWA, serialised on thepigeonhol ...more

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