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An action-adventure and love story set in Africa. Seventeen-year-old Mal is a bit of a problem child with a Napoleon complex, but when he goes on a school trip to London, he soon learns that there are worse things in the world than humorless teachers and faculty. Much worse, in fact. Instead of enjoying a holiday with his mates in the big city, he’s abducted, drugged, and shipped out of the country—first to France, then to Africa. But he’s not the only young victim to find himself in this predicament. Along with him is the lovely Harriet, a boy named Phillip, and a girl named Sandra. The foursome quickly develops a tight bond that serves them well against their captors, two sadistic men named Jean and Lopez. As they make their way across the continent, the youngsters endure physical and emotional abuses, plotting their escape all the while. Although salvation eventually comes for Mal, it’s not without its price, and the horrors of his African ordeal follow him back to Leeds, haunting him. In the end, the lessons he learns in the wilderness serve him well for his greatest challenge: overcoming lifelong bullying. Batley’s narrative instincts keep the page-turning plot engaging. However, that fast pace comes at the expense of nearly everything else. The villains are one-dimensional and predictably (if gruesomely) vile. Batley’s narrative instincts keep the page-turning plot. The villains are one-dimensional and predictably (if gruesomely) vile. -Kirkus Reviews Mafia and revenge. It’s an exhausting vortex of emotion and intrigue with a few references to black magic. -BlueInk Review If danger and a glimpse at the evil underbelly of mankind were enough to make for an exciting action/adventure novel, The Finger of God would earn high honors. The perils that Malcolm encounters are both numerous and horrific. -Clarion Review

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