Desert Pursuit Chris Ryan, Alpha Force No 4, Red Fox [Random House NZ], 202 pages, paperback, NZ $16.95. ISBN 0-099-43926-3
Nancy Drew never broke a child-slavery ring and the Hardy Boys never tried disarming landmines. Alpha Force do both. Five highly skilled teens Alex, Li, Paulo, Hex and Amber, make up Alpha Force, the unexpected but welcome brainchildren of ex-SAS soldier and author, Chris Ryan. His experience and story-telling skill make this account of adventure and survival in the Sahara Desert rise above the formula. Ryan’s enthusiasm for hardware (quads, Unimog, palm-top) and Li’s martial arts skills will captivate reluctant readers but the story also makes it clear that there is a human cost in putting a child-slave dealer out of business.
This review was first published in The Press, Christchurch, NZ in 2003.