Dahab by Chris Bean

Review published on August 17, 2017.

The author of this book has used his own training as a geologist and career as a fisherman to portray the hero – Jack – who is also a geologist and fisherman.

It has a drab, unattractive and unfortunate title, unless you happen to speak Bedouin and know that it translates as ‘gold’. Something on the lines of ‘A Search for Gold’ would be more eye catching. The story starts with two geologists searching for gold and finding it, and then continues into abduction, swimming for life, attempted rape, and drug and people trafficking. All this is set in Yemen, during a time when the Americans are intervening against Sadaam Hussein in neighbourly Iraq. The love affair between the two is predictable and the relationship grows, as does a later one between two women and the description of the sexual activities in both relationships could only be written by a man.

I regret that I found the geology in the book boring and too long, although it would obviously be of interest to someone with an interest in the subject. The author’s knowledge of boats and water is more absorbing. The ending is also entirely predictable – and the journey with hazards aspect in the book reminded me of a children’s novel I reviewed recently, although this book is entirely unsuitable for children to read.

I do not think I can recommend it to serious readers or to book groups.

Jan Jeffery 2/1

Dahab by Chris Bean
Upfront Publishing 9781784563929 pbk Aug 2016

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