The title derives from words spoken by a mysterious figure at the heart of this book, an exhortation not to be taken lightly. When the warning is ignored, in the early pages of the novel, it is the last mistake made by the woman to whom it is spoken. The man is lethal in a nearly unbelievable way, well-trained in jihadi tactics, and intent on only one thing: That no one must see him, no one must endanger his hard-won invisibility.
Our protagonist, Eve Hardaway, single mother of an adored 14-year-old boy, has taken a rafting and hiking trip in the mountains of Oaxaca, in Southern Mexico. Having come upon the fatal encounter referenced above, she is plunged into the most threatening and dire of situations, both nature-made and man-made, exhibiting incredible bravery. The man hunting her, having seen her observing his murderous actions, has almost inhuman expertise in all things offensive and defensive. Eve is facing unimaginable odds and a relentless adversary. In fact, that last adjective describes the book as a whole, for it too is relentless. So much so that I kept finding myself wanting to put the book down, but could not bring myself to do so. The author’s descriptions of the jungle and its inhabitants, human and otherwise, are very well wrought. There are occasional chapters from the pov of Eve’s adversary, giving the reader a glimpse into the mind and heart of a man who is basically, in addition to and despite being a devoutly religious man, a homicidal terrorist.
The book spans about one week, but the scenes that play out sometimes seem endless. Eve is one of a group of seven, of varying ages and greater or lesser abilities under these threatening circumstances, and they each find their bravery and loyalty to one another tested. At some point they see the reality of the situation: “Us vs. nature. Us vs. him.” Which just about sums it up.
Despite some reservations, the novel is recommended....Continua