'The Constant Gardener' by John Le Carré

The novel opens near lake Turkana, in northern Kenia. Tessa Quayle, a determined beautiful young woman with a deep social commitment is horribly murdered. Doctor Arnold Bluhm, her travelling companion with whom she was dedicated to lend humanitarian aid in the most devastated zones of Kenia, has disappeared from the crime scene.
Tessa’s husband, Justin, is devoted to gardening and a British diplomat destined in Nairobi. He is a good, discreet man who lives and works in agreement with the rules and who was madly in love with his wife. The memory of Tessa pushed him to investigate her death and to find out what had really happened.

In the course of his investigations he verifies that Tessa was on the verge of revealing a scandal dealing with the work of a multinational drug company in Kenia and he is determined to end what she began and to unmask the guilty people.

It will not take him a long time to realize the existence of a conspiracy that has taken the lives of innocents. Even his own life will be in danger from that moment. But his main discovery will be the extraordinary woman he barely had time to love.

This novel shows a story full of intrigue, suspense, conspiracies, corruption, and political power but especially of a great love, written in an elegant prose. It is a very elaborated story, with many details, and very well documented. It also has a great social load. The twists and the surprises during the novel are constant and shocking. In addition, the characters are masterfully well drawn with psychological depth, which makes the reader feel the same way as the characters and get to understand their decisions.

Even though, the novel is pure fiction it carries us to the reality. It has credibility and also a real impact, transmitting many emotions and leaving a certain feeling of frustration. It is also a tribute to the work of the people who report the global extortion of governments and big companies.

In my opinion, it is a wonderful novel that absorbs you completely, I couldn’t put it down. I truly recommend it and without any doubt I will read it again.

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