CoolMain Press Proudly Announces,
Back by Popular Demand,
Second in Andrew McCoy's
LANCE WEBER SERIES
About the Quintessential Hard Man of Africa
by Andrew McCoy
The equation is simple: on the day the last elephant in the world is shot, ivory will be more valuable than gold. Two men — one a merchant prince, the other a big-game hunter — are preparing for that day by acculumating vast hoards of the irreplaceable tusk. It is the hunter who makes the first mistake, and pays the price.
His widow engages Lance Weber on the lethal brief of reclaiming her inheritance from the very heart of war-torn Africa. Lance is on the run from the ghost of Bruun, a man believed by every authority to be dead, who is still killing Lance's employees, friends, parents, drawing concentric circles of terror ever tighter around Lance himself. Lance wants no ivory but he is driven by the need to avenge the many innocent dead and to expunge the evil of Bruun from the face of the earth. Bruun has shown that he too lusts for the ivory, so Lance sets himself, the ivory — and the beautiful widow — as bait for the mad predator. Their violent duel carves a scar across the face of the globe, from Sydney to Kent to Macao, from the harsh red grit of Africa to the suppurating green lushness of the Opium Triangle.
— dust-jacket blurb by John Blackwell, from the original hardcover edition
It did not occur to Mpengi that men would die in Macao, the China Seas, Brussels, Tokyo, the Burmese jungles, Africa and the Kent countryside because the bellies of his children were empty. He did not know of these places.
What Mpengi did that would have such disastrous effects around the world, what he did to relieve the gnawing mouse in the bellies of his children, was simplicity itself. He wenr to the camp of the Englishman with the red face and the luxuriant white moustache and told him where to find the last six elephants in the world.
— from BLOOD IVORY by Andrew McCoy
What the critics said:
"Mr McCoy gets on with the job of telling us exactly what it is like in the Heart of Darkness. He has the soldier's eye for terrain and the soldier's eye for character. This has the ring of truth."
John Braine/Sunday Telegraph
"Very rough, exciting, filmic, and redolent of a nostalgie de boue d'Afrique. Full of the rapport and affection for blacks experienced only by the genuine old Africa hand."
Alastair Phillips/Glasgow Herald
"Like the unblinking eye of a cobra, it is fascinating and hard to look away from, powerful and unique."
Edwin Corley/Good Books
"I found this work excellent. I recommend it as a book to read on several planes, whether of politics, history or just as thriller -- every episode is firmly etched on my memory. It is certainly a most impressive work of fiction."
"H.P."/BBC External Service
"Like a steam hammer on full bore."
Jack Adrian/Literary Review
"Something else again. The author has plenty of first-hand experience of the conditions he describes so vividly."
Marese Murphy/Irish Times
"Totally convincing fiction."
Colonel Jonathan Alford, Director, Institute for Strategic Studies/BBC World at One
"The reader is in good hands."
"Even in an entertaining thriller he makes us see ourselves anew."
"Graphic adult Boys Own Adventure."
The Irish Press
Contemporary review of
BLOOD IVORY by Andrew McCoy
by the novelist Matt Posner
***** (5 stars out of 5)
This book was originally published in the 1970s; I read the new edition by Cool Main Press, which is both re-issuing Andrew McCoy's work and commissioning new novels from him. This text was provided to me by the publisher at my request since I was interviewing the gentleman for my website.
Blood Ivory is a direct sequel to African Revenge, to which I also gave five stars. Both feature as hero Lance Weber, who is an apprentice adventurer in the first novel and a veteran adventurer here, travelling on the road in a caravan of trucks with a mixture of sub-Saharan Africans as employees and partners. Both are unflinching in their depiction of race relations and racial conflict. Blood Ivory adds some new elements: boats, helicopters, and Chinese participants in the conflicts. The range of this story is expanded to include England and many places in Asia, including Singapore and Hong Kong. More parts of Africa are shown; I was surprised by the small scale, since the truck convoy seems to cross countries in fewer hours than it would take to cross states that I drive through in the United States. I know Andrew McCoy has it right, however. No thriller writer knows Africa better than Andrew McCoy.
The novel posits an alternate-reality version of the 1970s world in which wild elephants are near extinction, and with their extermination, the price of their ivory will be dramatically magnified. The result, as one might expect after reading African Revenge, is brutal slaughter of men as well as animals.
Blood Ivory is a very gripping novel with strong characterization and terrific plot. It confirms me in my belief that I will enjoy anything Andrew McCoy writes, even when I am horrified by the cruelty and gore and even when I find the characters' attitudes alien to my own. This is a different type of thriller than those written in this century, because of its setting, because of the treatment of race (and violence toward women), because of the characters' necessary reliance upon 1970s technology (no mobile phones or computers).
I give this book five stars. It is highly recommended for everyone with a strong stomach for violence.
I hope I will soon see a reissue of McCoy's controversial novel Atrocity Week. Really longing for a look at that one.