E D Bird, Bitter Sweet (Createspace, 2015) 358 pages, fiction, $13.00. On Amazon.
This is the sequel to E D Bird's Goldenviron which is also reviewed on this blog. As expected, it is another entertaining, rollicking "dude flick" of a book.
Better written than its predecessor, more gritty and graphic, this installment takes us from South Africa to Barbados as the lead character seeks revenge for the events of Goldenviron. Again we have an action-packed plot and the added complication of aliases to keep up with.
Some gimmicks are overused. There is an elephant, leopard, and lion attack. This is a bit much if the reader knows something about the actual behavior of wild animals and it all begins to feel like a cliched cop-out by the time it plays out.
Also, this is not a novel for the post-Me Too world. Again, here is your fair trigger warning. Sex is detailed and errs on the side of porn. The book is rather insensitive to the aftereffects of rape on a woman's psyche - especially that of multiple rapes. While there is an attempt to make the woman a strong character who rescues herself rather than waiting for her male partner to rescue her, it does fall short of real female understanding. Later in the book, a male character vomits after watching a bomb detonate and I at least couldn't help but think these two events juxtaposed against each other only served to highlight the lack of emotional depth regarding rape.
This is an easy read not meant for children. I sensed the author left things open for the possibility of a third installment.