“Stealing Asia” by David Clarkson is another great travel adventure story by this talented author.
The first part of this book is told by Ben, a traveller in South East Asia, somewhat inexperienced but brave enough to save a girl from a mugging. The two become lovers and have a great time together until odd occurrences no longer can be seen as coincidental and Ben and his girl, also named Asia, need to get away.
But all is not as it seems, as we learn in the subsequent parts, told by different characters of the book.
The unfolding and unravelling of the plot and the change from holiday romance and harmless adventure story to action packed thriller is done very well, I did not see the twists and deceits in the story coming. The change of voice in the different parts is something often frowned upon in reviews but I personally find the benefit of added perspectives always intriguing and in this story particularly useful and enjoyable.
There is a lot of thought and plotting in this novel and we are casually confronted with the ins and outs of travelling in Asia as tourist, the author seems to have sound knowledge of the area he is writing about and feeds us information in a low key journalistic style. The narrative voices are also often understated and do feel very realistic rather than sensationalist or over the top.
I may have a thing for travel writing ever since I read “Backpack” in the 90ies but few have impressed me as much as this novel has.
If beautiful, atmospheric and descriptive writing about a holiday adventure gone wrong is your thing and you like fast paced thrillers this is definitely for you.
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My feature on his book “Outback” and an interview :
Ben is a backpacker struggling with life on the road. That is until a chance encounter brings him together with the enigmatic Asia. She is smart, beautiful and everything else that he could possibly desire in a woman. She also has an uncanny habit of attracting danger.
When events conspire to keep the pair apart, Ben begins to question if it is coincidence or a conspiracy. He learns that Asia’s life may be in danger, but he is unsure of exactly where the threat is coming from and who to trust. Only one thing is certain; unless he acts fast, it will be too late. In order to protect his new love, he is forced into making a drastic decision..
Adventure, Asia, David Clarkson author, fiction, South East Asia, Stealing Asia, thriller, travel fiction