The White Crocodile  by Kate Medina
(Faber & Faber, 2014)

The White Crocodile

by Kate Medina

The White Crocodile is fate.

Tess Hardy thought she had put Luke, her violent husband, firmly in her past. Until he calls from Cambodia, where he is working as a mine-clearer, and there’s something in his voice she hasn’t heard before. Fear. Two weeks later, he’s dead. Was it really an accident, or was Luke murdered? Against her better judgment, Tess is drawn to Cambodia, taking a job at the same humanitarian mine clearance charity Luke had been working for.

The White Crocodile is judgement.

What greets her is a country full of strange beliefs, where danger is all around. Teenage mothers are disappearing from villages around the minefields, while others are being found mutilated and murdered, their babies abandoned.

The White Crocodile is death.

Tess hears whispers of the White Crocodile, a mythical beast that brings death to all who meet it. Caught in a web of secrets and lies that stretches all the way from Cambodia to another murder in England, and a violent secret twenty years old, Tess must find out the truth, and quickly – because the crocodile is watching . . .

Reviews

An exciting first novel, from a huge new talent. ”
- Mo Hayder
Colourful descriptions of Cambodia transport the reader to a land full of mystery and primitive superstition, while Medina’s Territorial Army background feeds into an accurately detailed novel full of suspense and drama with a powerful female protagonist. ”
- The Sunday Express
The killing fields of Cambodia provide an unsettling, evocative setting for KT Medina’s impressive début, White Crocodile. It’s a powerful, angry book, affected by Medina’s personal experience there, in a previous job.”
- The Times
It’s Medina’s Cambodia that truly transports the reader, almost becoming a character in itself and giving the crimes of White Crocodile an original and intriguing context. ”
- Stylist
White Crocodile certainly has plenty of teeth for a debut novel… It is a mightily impressive effort to combine a fine, taut story with so many topical issues. Here we find the evils of modern day slavery, sexual tourism, child abuse, and domestic violence alongside the lingering legacy of the Khmer Rouge ordnance (even Jeremy Clarkson gets a mention). It sounds like a tall order but it’s not clunky and you rarely feel preached at. You may sometimes feel you want to put the book down, but that is a testament to the unflinching strength of Medina’s story. And you will pick it up again. ”
- Independent
Few crime novels deserve to be called operatic - in the sense of being larger than life, with emotions etched in the most striking of colours - but K T Medina’s remarkable début certainly qualifies for the adjective…Painted on the most ambitious of canvases, White Crocodile takes the reader into a Cambodia that suggests the fraught psychological territory of Joseph Conrad’s Africa in Heart of Darkness.”
- Barry Forshaw, Independent