No Distance to Run *****
by Leenna Naidoo

Sammi is a single thirtysomething woman happily working in an ad agency in South Africa. She digs nineties pop, practices energy healing, and meditates. I think she’d get along great with Phoebe from Friends, but Sammie would be the brains of the outfit.

Her friend and psychic advisor Mary throws a singles retreat and Sammi prepares to spend her weekend flirting it up. Instead, she stumbles into a mysterious number on a slip and the killer who wants it back. Can Sammi, Jay, and Inspector Grierson uncover why this number is worth taking lives? Well, I already know, but don’t want to spoil the surprise. Read it yourself, it’s great!

I scored this suspense novel for free from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/334194 

I found out about this story because Leenna and I workshopped one another’s writing on Critters.org. I thought about that story a lot over the following months. You know it’s a good one when you find yourself thinking about while listing to music or while at the gym. She wrote a short story about were-marsupials in the Australian outback that I still think about from time to time. Then I read another novel of hers, currently seeking a publisher, and I became a Naidoo fan.

It was fun as an American reader to explore the vocabulary and culture of South Africa, of which I know very little. I’ve now got a dozen factoids to spout to people I know but don’t share a ton in common with- like “some places spell it tyre instead of tire and they call the bathroom a water closet!”

The adventure spans an unfamiliar countryside as Sammi and company try to stay one step ahead of the gun toting thugs. I love a traveling story. There’s something about the open road that fires my imagination. I currently drive about forty thousand miles a year for work and listen to audiobooks all the while, except for that torrid affair with podcasts! I think the sense of adventure inherent to travel and the receipt of a narrative like some sort of grown up bed time has turned the monotony of travel into a mythical experience. It was nice covering some new countryside and Naidoo delivered the countryside and coastline of her faraway place in vivid detail. Thanks for roadtrip, Leenna!

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