In The Helpers (published in 2010 by CreateSpace), Suzanna Nelson, author of Nightmare along the River Nile, delivers a thriller that readers will enjoy. This is a book packed with intrigue, suspense, and romance.
The story begins in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is war going on, and Captain Pierre-Jean Phillippe and his boss Lance work for the French Military Intelligence. In the fight to bring about reconciliation in the deep-ethnic-hatred population, they receive more perturbing information that a missile has been imported into the country. Who imported it and who what is it meant for?
The first chapters are introductory- the reader gets a glimpse of what is happening in the DRC, and the role of the French. We meet Jenny Osborn, an intelligent and beautiful free lance journalist, and her friend and business partner John Spencer, a photographer based in New York. The two have been assigned to Kinshasa to get the real story behind war and the way forward for Congo.
For Jenny it is obvious that the few government officials she interviews have something to hide, a suspicion that is further reinforced when John is harassed for taking photographs. As Jenny tries to dig deeper, a series of high profile murders take place in the city; and the rebels are fast advancing to the city. When the fighting intensifies, and Jenny is about to give up; she receives a note from Kai, a young girl, claiming to have very important information concerning Gaston (a professional assassin) and The Helpers. Could this be the lead she’s been looking for all along? Who are The Helpers? And what is their interest in the DRC? It gets more baffling when the president is assassinated shortly after and the country is thrown into more chaos.
This is a story about espionage, corruption, and murder that takes readers on a whirlwind world tour – from Kinshasa to Paris, Spain, Brussels, and New York. Lance is one remarkable character- it was exciting reading about his schemes in dodging The Helpers and trying to expose them at the same time. And one can’t help but admire Jenny’s courage when she rescues Kai and her mother, or when the Helpers come after her. And her feelings for Pierre, thrown in for good measure, make one read with anticipation.
At 500 pages, The Helpers is a big volume, with very many chapters but the author’s prose is perfect, and one is glued to it from beginning till the end.