In his fast-paced novel, UNCKLE, Andrew Hutchinson tells the story of two brothers, Unckle and Barbar. Their dramatic escape from Pakistan to South Africa and the web of corruption they wittingly join forces with leaves the reader emotionally invested till the last page. Grievously injured at the hands of a baton-wielding Punjabi policeman, Unckle recovers with the help of his nurse, but his appalling injuries leave him in an altered state. The relief he seeks is via Pakistan’s biggest export and becomes a major factor in his life. With his nurse dead, the transition to a ‘ killing machine’ intent on revenge is swift. Cunning, elusive and deadly, Unckle pursues and despatches his enemy until he is captured by his brother Barbar. With Unckle’s killer instinct unleashed as they head for Chinese soil, their survival seems unlikely as Barbar negotiates to land their Huey in hostile terrain. But their lives take on a whole new dimension as a traumatic ocean voyage awaits.

Upon arrival in South Africa, the brothers become ensnared in the treachery and corruption of the underworld. Unckle forges a nefarious, broad-based, wholesale operation which includes the trafficking of Pakistani males for re-education in South Africa, whilst Barbar provides rhino horn to the Chinese; a ransom owed to the Chinese occupiers of Kashmir Province for the brother’s negotiated freedom. The brothers soon discover that extracting money from the poor and desperate population of South Africa by securing minions to do their bidding is like taking candy from a baby. What further acts of treachery are they capable of?

Andrew Hutchinson delivers a gripping narrative in his book, UNCKLE, the sequence of events move at breakneck speed, taking the reader on a multi-national journey from Pakistan to the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

The plot is intensely blood-soaked and explores all aspects of the human psyche, moving across the different cultures, religions and mysticism of Asia and Africa. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy a suspense-filled thriller which will leave you gasping at the descriptive and vivid imagery and the depth of treachery in the underworld.
Review by Lorna Philip Enslin.

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