Sunday 1 March 2020

Book Review: The Wolf Hour by Sarah Myles

The Wolf Hour
Sarah Myles

A gripping thriller set in Africa

Publisher: Allen & Unwin 
Publication date: 1st September 2018 
Genre: Crime / Thriller 
Pages: 352 
RRP: $29.99 AUD 
Format read; Paperback 
Source: Own read

Thirty-year-old Tessa Lowell has a PhD in psychology and is working in Uganda to research the effects of PTSD and war on child soldiers. She joins a delegation travelling across the Congolese border, deep into the African bush, for peace talks with Joseph Kony, notorious leader of the Lord's Resistance Army.? 
At the camp Tessa meets thirteen-year-old Francis, already an experienced soldier and survivor of shocking violence. The talks stall, and the camp is attacked by other rebels who take Tessa. Isolated in an increasingly volatile situation, she tries to form a bond with Francis. 
In Melbourne, Tessa's parents are notified of the kidnapping, but learn there is little that government agencies can do. Desperate, they contact their son Stephen, an astute if manipulative businessman based in Cape Town. He agrees to search for his sister but has other reasons to contact the rebel forces.
As Tessa's time runs out, her family begins to fracture. Her parents arrive in Uganda to hear awful news about what she has endured. They also learn the devastating truth about the kind of man their son has become. Only they have the power to stop a terrible injustice. But at what cost to their family? 

Tessa goes to a community camp in Uganda with the aim of studying the child soldiers who have escaped from the LRA. The camp is trying to get these children accepted back into their villages. Tessa wants to write a paper on the children and PTSD. Tessa insists on joining a delegation on a dangerous mission of peace talks with Kony, leader of the LRA, deep in the Congo.
Personally I can’t understand why these academics, and journalists too, who know nothing about the traditions and superstitions of the tribes put themselves in such dangerous situations and expect to be safe. One character actually outs Tessa as a white saviour, doing what she does to ultimately benefit herself.

Myles descriptions of Uganda, the beauty and the horror, were exceptional. The heat, the mosquitoes and the smell of unwashed bodies was real. I fell into the story. There was a foreboding sense of danger as the delegation moved deeper into the Congo.

I easily empathised with Tessa’s parents, the fear they felt and also the utter helplessness when you are so far from your child. Although I didn’t like the way they, especially the father, treated Stephen. Calling upon him when Tessa was in danger then trying to bring him down after. I’m sure they could find another way around this moral dilemma.

Myles gives her readers a fully rounded look at what is happening with the LRA and the child abductions. There is no preaching as we see everyone’s point of view, leaving the reader to make their own conclusions.

The Wolf Hour is a rivetting and emotive read. Highly recommended! 


My rating   5/5

Photo credit: Goodreads

Sarah Myles grew up in rural Australia where she fell in love with reading, story and landscape. She has trained and worked as a nurse, travelled through Europe, the Americas and Africa.

She is the fiction author of two novels THE WOLF HOUR and TRANSPLANTED. Currently she divides her time between writing and family, living in inner Melbourne and on the surf coast of Victoria, Australia.

This review is part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie Author Challenge 
and the Australian Women Writers challenge

#AWW #AusBookBloggers




  1. I have this out of the library atm, due to going to Uganda in August, I wanted to read whatever I could that was set there. I'll definitely have to get to it now you've given it 5 stars.

    1. The story has amazing descriptions of the area. Just don't venture into the Congo!!