book review

Ghosts Of The Past | Tony Park


Ghosts of the past | Tony Park

 Africa, 1906: A young Australian adventurer is condemned to death.

Sydney, the present: journalist Nick Eatwell has just lost his job, but his day is brightened when a fellow reporter, South African Susan Vidler, comes into his life looking for help with a story.

Susan is chasing information about Nick’s great-great uncle, Cyril Blake, who fought in the Anglo-Boer War and later joined the struggle for independence across the border in the German colony of South West Africa, now Namibia.

A long-lost manuscript proves Nick’s forebear was a somewhat reluctant hero. Soldier, deserter, cattle rustler and freedom fighter, Blake was helping the lost cause before the Kaiser’s forces ordered his assassination.

In Germany, historian Anja Berghoff is researching the origins of the famed desert horses of Namibia. She’s also interested in Blake and an Irish-German firebrand and spy, Claire Martin, with whom Cyril had an affair.

Nick and Anja head to Africa on the trail of a legend, but someone else is delving into the past, looking for clues to the secret location of a missing horde of gold that’s worth killing for.

Spanning two centuries, Ghosts of the Past is based on a true story


Ghosts of the past is based on a true story of a 24 year old Australian who fought in the Anglo-Boer War in South Africa, and during the Herero and Nama wars in German South West Africa.

While Ghosts of the past is based on a true story, and has some fictiicious points through out, overall it was a interesting and insightful read into a war that, to be honest, I never knew had ever happened nor existed.

Ghosts of the pasts goes through such in depth detail of the war, soldiers, what I believe is one of the first of many concentration camps and I think a main focal point of the story, the desert horses of Namibia.

We see how gold and greed can change anybody, and that people show strength and resilliance in the most heroic and heartfelt ways.

In between the throwback chapters of the war, we also have current time chapters where a decendant of the main character in this story, Cyril Blake, has become interested in chasing up his own family history after being contacted by a journalist who is wanting to write a story.

As you go back and forth between the past and present, you learn about these men and women from the past, and how they fought and tried to survive during the war, and how and old wives tale so to speak (lost treasure anyone?) and peoples greed can lead to unimaginable things

 Tony’s descriptive writing style and slow burning action paced storyline keeps you turning the pages wanting more, and thinking about it once its done, leave me completely enthralled from start to finish.

 A huge thank you as always to the team at Pan Macmillan Australia for sending me a copy!

Book details

Publication 23/07/19

Imprint: Macmillan Australia

RRP: $32.99 AUD

Format: Trade Paperback

ISBN: 978-1-76078-211-5

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