Marika Vecera is an award-winning journalist who has traveled to war-ravaged and uncharted countries and lived to write about it. So too, has Kira Salak, the author of this intriguing new novel.

Salak draws on her own experiences to paint a vivid portrait of Vecera, the central character of The White Mary. From a dangerous assignment in the Congo to the harrowing search for her journalistic hero, Robert Lewis, in Papua New Guinea, Vecera comes to life as a savvy, brave and realistically flawed woman in the book’s pages. Through Vecera’s quest for the truth about Lewis’ mysterious death, she learns the value of real, unselfish love – for others and for her own self.

The swamps and jungles of the foreign territories are written with such vivid detail that the reader is able to accompany Vecera every step of her journey. For those who love adventure novels, it will be hard to put this book down.

It will also be hard to deny the impulse to get out there and follow in Vecera’s and Salak’s footsteps and go on a Lara Croft/Tomb Raider-like adventure. But for those who can’t, reading The White Mary will have you on the edge of your seat and should suffice in quenching your thirst for adventure.

Grade: A

The White Mary is currently available.