|Sparrow Falls, a (1997) [Novel]|
by Wilbur Smith
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When Sean Courtney returned from the Boer war in The Sound of Thunder, his son Dirk was already worrying him; in the last pages of that novel the boy's unstable and passionate possessiveness towards his father led to vandalism and ultimately murder. Sean's deep love was already becoming hatred. A Sparrows Falls is the story of the violent clash between father and son that in the final pages consumes them both.
General Sean Courtney is once more at war, this time in the trenches of northern France, and in the opening pages of this novel he watches with fascination the courage of a young South African solider Mark Anders who is sent out alone to destroy a German sniper. Great is Sean's delight when a few years later he meets Mark again in Durban, and soon Mark is working for him as personal assistant, gradually taking the place in his heart of Michael, Sean's dearly loved firstborn son who was killed in the war. But Mark has discovered on his return from France that his grandfather has been murdered and his property seized by an unknown commercial company. His investigations into the mystery expose him to two terrifying but unsuccessful attempts on his life and soon point to Dirk as the culprit. When Mark then supports Sean in opposing Dirk's cherished plan to flood the glorious National Park land of Chaka's Gate - a project that would bring Dirk many millions - Dirk is more than ever determined to destory him. And when his father threatens to expose publicly his criminal actions, his hatred tips over into insanity: he determines to annihilate them both.
Alongside the central drama between Sean and Mark and Dirk, Mark is also caught in other conflicts: 'white trade unionists are in open revolt under the banner of communism and Mark at Sean's side is forced to fight to the death a leading agitator Fergus Macdonald, his old friend from the trenches; and at home Mark's love for Storm, Sean's beautiful, but spoiled and spirited daughter, runs a dramatic even tragic course before they are united in the peace and beauty of the disputed Eden that is Chaka's Gate.
Still dominated by the now mature and benign figure of Sean, A Sparrow Falls is also peopled by a large and skilfully handled cast of characters, some of whom have appeared in the previous novels, others like Mark and Fergus new. Culminating in the intensely dramatic and tragic resolution of the battle between Sean and the evil genius that is his son, this is the last of the first sequence of Courtney novels.
Original title: A Sparrow Falls
Genre: Fiction→ Adventure→ Wild Frontiers And Exotic Lands