In a vast African landscape four teenagers and a journalist vanish without trace from a camp below a steep rock ridge, ‘Chomlaya’.
Ella, the young sister of the journalist, helps Inspector Murothi piece together what’s happened as the search helicopters continue their constant hum over the rock ridge. But Ella and Murothi begin to wonder whether they are already too late …
MARCUS SEDGWICK, GUARDIAN
‘That delightful thing, a book which holds you from the first page. It's a fine book, with heroes to cheer and baddies to hiss at, with a satisfying ending and yet resisting the desire to tie up every single detail … an intelligent piece of writing, which brought back happy memories of Peter Dickinson's superb archaeological adventure A Bone from a Dry Sea.’
‘A fragmented enigma, the story of a school trip gone mysteriously wrong, with not only several students but also a journalist gone missing in a wild, rocky region. There are layers within layers, and sinister events that unfold at Chomlaya Ridge … the lurking sense of threat is real. Stylised, sophisticated and richly atmospheric.’
LANCASHIRE BOOK OF THE YEAR
'The mystery of it all hooks you to the story like a lion to its prey.
‘A tightly written, highly entertaining novel.
Vibrant and haunting, Rift will hold readers’ attention well after
they’ve finished reading the last page.’
YOUNG REVIEWER, EVENING ECHO
'I liked this book because of the suspense and the interesting characters. This suspense is very good.
I just wanted to sit there and keep flicking the pages.’
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, U.S.
‘A suspenseful mystery. Birch does a fine job of describing the mysticism of this fictional locale where human life began.’
LANCASHIRE BOOK OF THE YEAR
'A fantastic read that keeps you hooked from the very first word. The unravelling of clues adds to the thrill and keeps you clinging on.
‘The reader becomes hooked into the story and the investigation.
I couldn’t put it down.’
TEENAGE FICTION FOR ALL AGES: audio
‘I loved, loved, loved this one … a mystery that completely holds the attention. The sense of place is amazing. Ella is a likeable and strong character. I would love to see Inspector Murothi return in another novel, teenage or adult.
Clare Corbett narrates Rift exquisitely, I can’t recommend this audio book highly enough.’
CANDY GOURLAY, TIMES ONLINE
‘I also much enjoyed Rift, with Africa lovingly painted,
a mystery, and a cast of sympathetic characters – especially the wonderful Inspector Murothi.’
‘A great, tense, vivid investigation novel with extraordinary characters in a beautiful, remote setting – a powerful, compelling read.’
‘A tense mystery.
This gripped me throughout.’
‘It’s night-time; I’m stepping into a dark tent. The only light is the beam from my torch. My feet touch something warm, soft and sticky. Swing the torchbeam down. Something’s squelching over my sandals – wet, glistening. It takes a moment to recognise the innards of a decapitated snake spewed across the groundsheet. …
Fascination with the atmosphere of places. And with the search for human beginnings in Africa, where I grew up. I thought ‘what if people disappeared in peculiar, unexplained ways? What if it happened in the place we think was the cradle of humankind?
Then there’s the raw wildness of mountains and plains, animals and birds … I imagined being lost there. Coming face to face with an elephant or rhino. Or a leopard …
Photos: © Nick Birch
[RIFT published by Egmont Press, audio by W.F. Howes, Film optioned by Hanthum Films]