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The Lonely Planet traveler knows how to see some of the world’s most beautiful and exotic locations on the cheap. A passport, a backpack, a pair of good boots and a map of the local youth hostels and you’re on your way. Typical problems on the road revolve around disease, transportation, food and water. Who would think to add serial killer to this list? This is the idea presented in this creepy little story.
International backpackers are typically affable, easy-going and a happy-go-lucky bunch. Easy to make new friends of a variety of cultures and always up for “whatever” they are the low hanging fruit to the traveling sociopath on a budget. Our Hero, Paul, a world traveler of The Road, encounters this serial killer and begins a slow chase to find him and stop him forever. Part of this is a revenge quest – Paul’s girlfriend was one of the victims – but along the way Paul learns that the whole situation is even creepier than simple murder.
This slow thriller, set in the early aughts, has Paul traveling from internet café to internet café, from Cameroon to Nepal to Indonesia. The author paints each location beautifully; you know he’s been there, that he’s eaten the food and seen the sights. The thrill isn’t in the mystery, Paul figures out who the killer is pretty quickly, but in how he’s going to resolve the situation. Local and international law enforcement are less than helpful. It’s down to him, a Lonely Planet web editor, and a handful of acquaintances he met on The Road.
The storytelling is a little dry, and I would have preferred more mystery, but the backpacking lifestyle and each location is brought to vivid life, and it made me want to pack a pack, buy a water filter and hit The Road – despite the serial killer.
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I had to give up listening to this book.I just couldn't stand the narrator anymore. Let me explain why...The story was good. The protagonist led an interesting search into the killer of his one true love. All was good when he was the only voice, or with the American characters that popped up in the first half of the book. But...Towards the last third of the book there are a lot of international characters from all parts of the globe. The narrator is terrible with accents. Nails-on-a-chalkboard terrible. They all sounded like a blend of backwoods New England/Aussie outback/deep American south something or other.The last few hours of the book was unbearable and I finally had to turn it off. I have the Kindle version and will probably just end up reading it myself.The narrator needs to take some coaching classes to improve his foreign accent voice acting, or-- only narrate American English books.