Title: A Fado for the River
Author: Geoffrey Wells
Genre: Espionage Thriller/Romantic Suspense
When they fell in love, all three warring factions wanted her secret—or her life. They thought they would share a life after Raf faked her death and they’d crossed the border, but their ideas of freedom tore them apart.
Years have slipped by, and now he’s an American executive with a blackmail note. Facing ruin, he must prove he did not murder her when he was a student on vacation in Mozambique—on the edge of chaos. As the Portuguese revolution raged, he helped her flee the colony and never saw her again. Both had committed to spying for the freedom fighters, but they both refused to blow each other’s cover. Now in Lisbon, a fado singer reveals his precious secret: he has never stopped loving her. He must find her.
Destiny provides a nostalgic refrain in this story, as the fado does in the Portuguese songbook. The narrative floats between the past and the present in the way a dream might slip in and out of reality. The setting is the ancient Limpopo River that has always been blind to itinerant traitors—the Europeans, Christian slave traders, Communists, Muslims, criminals, freedom fighters and terrorists, who have crossed its fated banks. The river holds the promise of Raf’s tale. Can it lead him down to the ocean to liberate him from the banks of his emotional apathy?
This is the first book of The Trilogy for Freedom: It is a lyrical, embracing international tale, part romantic suspense, part political thriller. In this story of treachery and deceptive alliances, Geoffrey Wells captures the heartbreak of lost love and Raf’s hope of freedom—if he gets a second chance with his first and only love.
Brace yourself for stories from the heart of forgotten places.
This is Book One of The Trilogy for Freedom. Readers who love to be carried away on wild adventures to unknown places with smart, interesting characters, should get a start on this series. Book Two, of The Trilogy for Freedom is no less exciting. All three books of the trilogy can be read as stand-alone novels.
Start reading the trilogy today.
I believe I am like many readers who needed to search online to see what a fado was. Having found it, I quickly forgot it. The main point of this book is not simply the title but the question of what defines freedom.
You meet Raf and get his story from both when he was young and reckless to when he is older and yet still reckless. Being reckless in life may also be a definition of freedom. The freedom from thinking about the consequences of your behavior. Raf as a youth thought it was a good idea to have some fun in war-torn Africa in the early 70's. That is certainly one concept of fun. Mine might be a sunny beach in the Caribbean, but I was a different kind of youth.
This story circles around Raf and his relationship with Gida. Did he do something nefarious and that is why he may be held accountable? Did he do something heroic and is someone just out to get him?
The story works in this two stage approach. You get a bit from the present and some from the past. Each segment is well defined so the reader is never lost. Both parts actually meet in the middle which helps define the story.
Again, the question that arises is what is freedom? Are you a freedom fighter if you fight against the government? Are you a freedom fighter if you fight against a revolution? Are you a freedom fighter if you choose not to fight but to aid people? Does love come from freedom? Does freedom come from giving up love? You must read this book to draw your own conclusions.
This book shines a light on part of the unending cycle of violence that is Mozambique. This cycle continues today. You will learn a lot about East African politics and the failed colonialism of Portugal. An interesting read that will captivate the reader. You will want to know what happens next. The second part of this story will be intriguing. Recommended to political thriller fans and to those who like a little romance thrown in.
My Rating: 5 stars
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Geoffrey Wells is the author of three stand-alone novels on freedom, now a series entitled, The Trilogy for Freedom.
In his latest eco-thriller, The Drowning Bay, based on a water crisis and climate change, published in 2021, Wells looks at what the responsibility of freedom means and how it might lead to finding a belonging in a lost ecosystem.
Inspired by his ascent of Kilimanjaro in 2003 and horrified by the devastation of elephants, he published, Atone for the Ivory Cloud, in 2016. Wells writes about how respect for all life liberates us.
The sixth 2021 edition of A Fado for the River is based on his experience in Mozambique one year before the Portuguese revolution spilled into the colony. Wells explores his quest for personal freedom, against a backdrop of a nation struggling for its liberation.
Wells started writing fiction after a career in IT, rising to VP and CIO at two major broadcasting companies.
Concurrent with his corporate life, he wrote and produced an award-winning animated film, The Shadow of Doubt, directed by his wife, Cynthia Wells, an animator and painter. The film showed in 27 film festivals and won 5 awards.
In 2015 he edited, designed, and published the award-winning children's book, Moonglow written by Peggy Dickerson and illustrated by Cynthia Wells. He lives on the North Fork of Long Island where he participates in triathlons and swims the open water with his wife and their dog, Luciano.
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Reviewed by: Mr. N