stack of books
pot plant
photograph of Beverley Birch


☰ pick a genre
coffee cup
☰ pick a title


In a vast African landscape, four teenagers and a journalist vanish ...


rift cover

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 …








What inspired RIFT?

Firstly, a memory …


‘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. …

Read more

Secondly …



Fascination with the atmosphere of places. And with the search for human beginnings in Africa, skull-from-guidecropped-001-cwhere 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]