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Young American Aliya Scott travels to Tanzania to help children with her condition. There, people without pigment in their skin are called “zeru-zeru,” it means “ghost,” and they are believed to possess magical powers. When Aliya goes missing, her father sets out on a mission to find her. He soon discovers that she was up to more than teaching the alphabet and handing out sunblock. With each step he learns more about his daughter and a country rooted in ancestry, rich with resources, full of mystery and conflict, and a world of witchdoctors and foreign plundering, with little transparency and less justice. From the shadow of the Mukuyu tree he follows her “ghost” to the head of the dragon in Europe. But will he reach Aliya before it is too late?
From the USA to Tanzania and Europe Topper takes us on an exhilarating journey that reflects the best and worst in human nature whilst Tanzania’s enduring sorrow and the plight of its Albino children proves ripe for the ensuing drama. With startling clarity, she pens an unforgettable narrative that weaves the darkest beliefs, corruption and violence with an intensity that rarely falters. It’s a riveting tale that requires dexterity of thought as converging time lines come together. The events that led up to Aliya’s disappearance and Jalil’s pursuit of the truth which trawls the darker side of human nature and the beliefs that lead to the most appalling of atrocities. Set in the main against an ill-omened and daunting Tanzanian backdrop Topper captures a powerful sense of legitimacy and urgency that pervades her pages. It’s a harrowing read at times but she makes her points without too much breast-beating whilst the overarching social commentary is hard to ignore. Populated with a host of vividly drawn characters it’s not a tale for the faint-hearted with Topper notably retaining that often elusive balance between tension and suspense, as elusive clues are revealed. Not to be given freely, but designed to keep her readers guessing and rewarded with what proves to be a cracking denouement.
Superbly written, darkly intriguing and absolutely original, Pigment is sure to build an enthusiastic following for Topper and much interest in her future releases. It is recommended without reservation.
About Renée Topper
Renée Topper is a storyteller in all forms. Her debut novel PIGMENT won 2016 LYRA Award for Mystery / Suspense / Thriller and is an International Book Award Winning Finalist in the Fiction: Cross Genre category. As a writer and producer, she digs deep to find the heart and soul of a tale -- especially those exploring the human condition -- and devise the best means to convey them, then she executes. She is currently story-smithing at StoryMatter.com. You can reach the author via email at Authors@StoryMatter.com.