‘After the Texans’ by Declan Milling

After the Texans

Director of Market Integrity with the UN’s carbon market watchdog, Emil Pfeffer has a problem – his girlfriend Johanna has been kidnapped. Told she’s being held as an insurance against Emil poking his nose into the corrupt government of Papua New Guinea, it seems there’s no choice but to comply, at least until he can get a lead on where she might be.

When his boss sends him to London, Emil chances on a link to Johanna’s disappearance. The possibility of a few days leave gives him the opportunity to follow the trail, but an assignment comes up he can’t get out of. On his way to meet a legal team in Hong Kong, Emil spots an unexpected face in the crowd. This time, however, following the clues lands him in a difficult situation – one he may but be able to get out of alive.

After The Texans is the second novel in the Carbon Black series. Though I hadn’t read the first one, I had no problems picking up the story. The author is a talented writer with a thorough knowledge of his subject, creating a vivid and realistic setting in the high-stakes world of fossil fuel resources and Australian domestic politics. Amid the main character’s entanglements with police and security services, this intriguing and clever thriller ripped along, with each chapter leaving me wondering what the hell was going to happen next.

Declan Milling’s writing is sharp and well observed, and his characters positively ripple with authenticity. All in all, a jolly good read.

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