Review  - KING  (Penguin Books)

ISBN 978-0-1435-3842-4

Published  - October 2013

Author - Gareth Crocker (South Africa)

Genre – Thriller

My Rating: 4/5

‘Elijah Rolene is a lost man. Following the death of his wife, he quits his job as a police pilot and turns to prescription painkillers for comfort. Not content to watch him destroy his life, his veterinarian sister convinces him to help out at her animal shelter. Soon, they rescue a rare white lion cub from the heart of Detroit’s gangland. The lion is brought to live with them and instantly connects with Elijah’s autistic niece, Harper. As Harper is brought out of her shell, so Elijah begins to heal as well. But something happens that puts their family at risk and threatens to tear their world apart. Elijah is faced with a question that will define the rest of his life: How far will you go if you have nothing left to lose?’ Penguin Books


This story is at times a gut wrenching tear jerker, yet at other times it is a real heart warmer that tugs at your heart strings and ending in finale unlike any other …. Gareth Crocker certainly leaves you wanting for more.

The story focuses on the main character Elijah (Eli for the most part), his motherly sister Lola and her autistic daughter Harper. 

The story unfolds in the heart of  a gruesome discovery of dead drug lords and gangsters. The victims of this awful discovery, illegally imported exotic animals left for dead, barring the one lonely and rather fragile little white lion cub on the brink of death.

This white lion cub now named KING, goes on to unwittingly free Harper from her self imposed isolation and escapism, a phenomena so common in the world of an autism. KING brings life back to a drugged and dazed ex police pilot, a fate brought on by his addiction to pain killers. KING manages to show Eli that there is still the possibility of a life worth living despite the loss of his wife.

Lola a veterinarian by profession sees her own life change before her eyes, discovering a child who just blossoms under the penetrating blue gaze of a white lion, a new love interest and a brother who seems to be turning over a new leaf. 

Cruel circumstances however are looming and Lola stands to loose it all ....

Eli on the other hand is faced with the challenge of 'how far will you go if you have nothing left to loose?'

I truly loved reading this book and could not put it down, I found myself smiling at times and at other times doing the 'ugly cry'. I have never read a book by Gareth Crocker before,, and I was suitably impressed by this South African author. I believe he has three other novels in print and I look forward to reading more by Gareth Crocker in the near future.

For more info on where to get this book
Penguin Books