He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice. Albert Einstein
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. Dwight D. Eisenhower
To understand Savage Roads, one must first understand the author. Erich Penhoff has been many things. Many things he won’t, or can’t talk about. For instance, he list under “School” on Facebook: The black market, after the war. And we aren’t talking the Vietnam War.
Erich has seen many things, from jungles to deserts, to the wastelands of Antarctica. And it shows in this first novel of suspense, intrigue and the horrors of savagery and war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the DRC).
There are a lot of suspense books out there, and some of them are very good. But they aren’t like this book. Erich has been there, done that, and has the scars to prove it. And so does his hero, Marco Resnick . Marco is unlike any other “action hero” I have ever read about. He isn’t a 6’6” superhero, muscleman who hasn’t seen his 30th birthday. Marco is a real guy. He, along with his friends Karl and Michel have worked together for 30 years, traveling the world, doing what needs to be done. No matter how dirty, or how bloody, things become.
The DRC, Rwanda, many of the hellholes of Africa come into play in Savage Roads. The scenes in the book aren’t for the weak of heart for, as Jean-Paul Sartre says; When the rich wage war, it’s the poor who die. There is blood and death aplenty as Marco and Michel travel the savage roads of a country drowning in violence. Unlike many heroes, Marco isn’t there for the killing, or the glory. He simply does what needs to be done. When what needs to be done is rescuing children from members of a savage paramilitary gang, he does it. Even if that does mean that many of that gang have to die.
Karl, a financial investor for many small and retired investors, has invested in gold mines in the DRC. Now, the gold has been stolen. Not only that, but Marco has received word that a huge cargo of munitions is set to leave Africa, destined for a group of ‘mafia types’ and warlords. In order to stop this, and to regain the gold, Marco and Michel will defy the odds to right these wrongs, and return the monies to Karl’s investors.
If you love action, adventure, suspense, and intrigue, you MUST have this book. You won’t regret the purchase, and you will be talking about it with your friends for a long time to come.
Disclosure: I was the editor for this book, and Erich’s second, “Savage Death:Not Forgotten”. This in no way influences my review. It just gives me better insight into the novel.