Rainbow in the desert
Rainbow in the desert is the fourth novel by Ravayi Marindo independently published February 17, 2021.
The plot follows the story of Mirai Pachokwadi a successful crime writer in New York who upon the death of her husband decides to return back to the land of her birth, Zimbabwe. She had been sending money to a relation who was supposed to have been building her a mansion and renovating the family home. Her return unearths past secrets that had long since been buried and forgotten and people start dying. Mirai uses her crime writing skills to help the police get to the bottom of things before she becomes a victim
It’s a page-turning African crime thriller which feels in some parts like the biography of the main character Mirai who writes crime novels while drawing from the author’s lived experiences who is also a crime writer and has had to research into investigative techniques in order to give authenticity to the books she writes.
One of the hallmarks of a good writer is being able to weave a story so palpable that one cant help but draw real-life parallels and experiences from a work of fiction. I don’t how much of Mirai’s character is inspired by the author’s personal experience but the story of someone in the diaspora sending money home and having it misappropriated is a familiar story in many families….
With a strong female lead, this is novel has feminism theme about breaking the glass ceiling.
Reading this book soon after reading the murder series by Ravayi featuring Michael Mafuri and Tango Ayanda in Frangipani in the mist, Beneath the Marula Tree and Baobab Blue; Rainbow in the desert is a bit slow to start.
I was close to halfway when I began to wonder if I was reading the correct book because I hadn’t seen any of the bodies that were supposed to be piling up on Mirai’s property… the book was supposed to be a murder mystery after all… No worries though, once the killing starts, you begin to wonder if anyone will be left standing when the book ends…
It has a slow buildup but once things get moving, it really picks up speed, and might even end up going a bit too fast towards the end…
Another book you must not start to read if you have important business and deadlines because to take care of, the story will take you with it and won’t let you go until you get to the last page.
The edition I read had typos of the kind which would be generated by use of an editor software which autocorrected some words (even character names) into the wrong ones and then the final result was not proofread after that process… We need editing software that recognises Zimbabwean languages and names *end rant*
Rainbow in the desert is a new school of literature, a crime thriller that also gives a social commentary of life in Zimbabwe especially from the perspective of those who have lived in the diaspora as they try to re-integrate into society and the changes which happened while they were away while battling with the bias and guilt projected by those who stayed behind….