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Geoscientist Online

The Lomax Gold Mine Series: Dead Man’s Gold & Wolf Man

Harris dead mans gold Harris wolf man

Accidentally intrepid welsh geologist Ed Evans travels to an African gold mine in search of a missing frenemy, Greg.  Harris conjures the complicated politics of the mine with a wealth of life-like, colourful characters that, like the rich tapestry they represent, slowly unravel as the plot twists like a rope trick.  Ed (and the reader) needs his wits about him: can we trust trilobite-obsessed drilling manager Forge? His assistant Weird Dave? Geologist Bismarck?  Probable Irish terrorist Allen? Jam-and-Jerusalem Miriam, wife and puppet master of the mine manager?  Kojo, manager of geology? Interfering reporter Bernie? Sneering Suit Jeremy? Terrifyingly psychotic Chiri, the exploration manager? Union leader Herman The Helmet? Mine owner lucky Lomax? Who are they all? Why are they here? What are they all up to? What’s going on? Why are they all so obstructive? And why aren’t any of them looking for Greg? 

As Harris weaves his tale, we are treated to a vivid geology field trip into the underground mine. But the body count is on the rise and Ed, haunted by his past, beset by trilobites and unbalanced by malaria, is wound into the knotted politics of the mine and its local illegal miners, the galamsey.  Can Ed get to the bottom of it all before he ends up dead in the bottom of the mine?  Ed has a go in Dead Man’s Gold, before a resolution is found in the sequel, Wolf Man, with the arrival of two new characters: quiet, pipe-sucking geologist Billy and his ghastly acquaintance, the deeply unhinged wolf-man. Why are they together? What’s going on? Why are there trilobites everywhere? Why haven’t we yet resolved what’s happened to Greg?  Maybe Alice, Greg’s mysterious wife and ex-girlfriend/haunting millstone of Ed’s, holds the key? The body count is on the rise again and Ed, returned to the UK and hospitalised by a horrific explosion during an encounter with the mine militia and the galamsey, needs to unlock the secret of the trilobites before the past, and the Wolf Man, catches up with him.  The book surges towards a terrifying conclusion on the welsh hillsides as we finally discover where Greg has gone... Or do we…?

A gripping tale of political manoeuvrings, greed, murder, revenge and intrigue, set against the vibrant background of the world of exploration geology and mine engineering. And obsessive trilobite collection.  I think we can all relate to that one.

Reviewed by Catherine Kenny

DEAD MAN’S GOLD, by Mendus Harris, 2016.  Published by: Team Author UK  299pp (pbk) ISBN:978-1539659006. List Price: £7.99. W: https://mendusharris.co.uk/books/dead-mans-gold/

WOLF MAN, by Mendus Harris, 2017.  Published by: Team Author UK  334pp (pbk) ISBN:978-1545446973. List Price: £7.99. W: https://mendusharris.co.uk/books/the-wolf-man-approaches/