Con stared hard into the vegetation, tightening his eyes to sharpen their focus. Come out, he thought. I know you’re in there. Each shadow, each blade of grass was suggestive. But nothing moved: no amber eye between the leaves.
Con, adrift and emotionally numb, is drawn into a fascinating but disturbing new world when Mark, an old school friend, is mauled by a rare lion at the breeding park where he worked. The lion involved has been shot, and the remaining lioness, a disturbed animal rescued from abuse in a safari park, needs a keeper. Jolted out of his lethargy by the animal’s powerful presence and memories of his charismatic friend, Con steps into the role, becoming obsessed with the lioness, the only remaining Cape black-maned lion known to exist.
His obsession is shared by government officials and investors who are concerned about the loss of their flagship breeding project, locals who are terrified by the roars of lions on Table Mountain, and a shadowy group who have adopted the lion as their totem.
When Con is seduced by one of the cultists, the lioness escapes. It roams the streets of Cape Town, charming or terrifying those who encounter it. In his quest to track down the mythic beast, Con must confront dark memories of the accident he and Mark were involved in as boys, as well as his own deepest fears of power and loss.
Rose-lnnes writes fresh, invigorating prose, vividly creating character and evoking the spirit of place. – Witness
There’s only one author who does local landscapes, inside and out, with such absorbing insight and tragicomic skill. Read her right now. – Shape