Sunday, May 1, 2016

The Ghost of Africa by Don Brobst

Together New York City surgeon Paul Branson and his wife, Nicki, had a dream: to help the people of the African bush. After Nicki’s untimely death, Paul decides to honor her memory and carry on alone. In South Sudan, he channels grief into hope, caring for villagers and working to save Leza, a little girl with leukemia who has captured his heart.

Meanwhile, Jason Quinn, terrorist leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, has deadly plans for the people of South Sudan. But he needs information to carry out his plot—information from research Paul did for the US government years ago. Quinn will stop at nothing to obtain this secret intelligence, even kidnap a dying child. Now, in order to save the ailing Leza and stop a genocide, Paul must go beyond his medical training to journey into a world of brutal terrorism and global intrigue. With only instinct and his faith as guides, how far will he go to save the lives of thousands?

My review:

   When I finished reading this novel, I closed my Kindle and said out loud "wow, that was awesome!" My review could be summed up in those few words, but a four word review doesn't cut it, so I'll try to turn those four words into a full length review.

  Don Brobst is a new author to me, and I believe this is the first novel he has written.... and he slammed it out of the park with his debut novel. I hope he writes more, but this will be a tough act to follow.

 I loved his main character, Dr Paul Branson. Sometimes fictional characters are portrayed unrealistically, but I felt this author didn't do that with his main character or other characters. Something a bit unusual that I picked up on, is there weren't many descriptions of the characters. I have no idea how old the doctor was supposed to be, but he had a college aged daughter. Nothing is given about his appearance or the appearances of most of the characters in the book..... and I kind of liked that. I had to come up with a mental picture of my own of the characters in this story.

 Most of the story takes place in Sudan, and Don did such a great job of describing the area, the scenery, the people, etc; that I felt I wanted to step into the pages and experience it for myself. That is the one bad part about reading this book: it left me with a nagging feeling that I don't do enough for God in my Christian life.

 The plot was awesome - an overused word, but it really was. The suspense never ended and there was constant drama and action. I made the mistake of taking my Kindle to read on my lunch breaks two days this week and had a hard time putting it down - the book is that good. There is a lot of violence and military action, but it isn't overdone nor overly descriptive. The panther part was a bit weird, but it just added another interesting dimension to this fantastic story.

 There was a lot of medical terms and procedures mentioned in the book, but Don did a great job of putting it in words that non-medical personnel can understand. I didn't realize until I finished the book that the author is a doctor, and that makes all of that even more realistic.

  I had an author tell me once that you can't write books like these without adding curse words....this novel is proof that you can. There is not one bad word in it, and though it isn't preachy; it is definitely Christian in content and worldview.

  The book came to a great and satisfying ending, though I wanted to read on and on. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes a lot of political intrigue, suspense, drama, and action.

This book was provided to me for my honest review.

About the author:

Don Brobst, born in New Jersey and educated in Chicago, is a practicing physician and the Medical Director of the State of Alabama. Trained in family practice in Illinois, Don and his family moved to Birmingham in 1993. A proven leader in the field of medicine and member of the American Academy of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, he divides his time between his practice, family, writing, and working in Africa.

The dedicated father of three wonderful children, Wendy, Jonathan and Andrea, he’s passionate about writing while understanding the importance of family, which includes five grandchildren.

Spending time in New York, his favorite place to write, is one of his driving passions, even though he is unable to spend the time he would like in his favorite city in the world.

Working in the villages of Sudan, Don leads teams that deliver desperately needed medical care to the poor and needy deep in the African bush, as well as throughout Egypt and Ethiopia. Delivering medical care to those who need it most, he considers himself deeply fortunate to be in a position to do so, regardless of the risks and inconveniences of life on the front lines.

Because of his work in the heart of these nations, Don is in an unusual position of trust, which allows him access to areas of the world considered to be “off limits” to non-medical personnel. The insight he’s gained from these operations has been the key to unlocking secrets revealed in The Ghost of Africa and the sequels that follow.

Don thrives on adventure, intrigue, and adrenaline. His pursuit of the thrill is not thrust upon him—it is that which makes him unique, and opens doors otherwise barred. He will go wherever he can to do what he can – always.

Check out his website at

Thanks to the author for the Kindle version of the book to review, and to Rel from Relz Reviews for asking me to review it.