I received this book in exchange for an honest review.
SYNOPSIS: When emotionally damaged mine-clearer Tess Hardy travels to Cambodia to find out the truth behind her ex-husband’s death, she doesn’t know much about the country or its beliefs.
On arrival, she finds that teenage mothers are going missing, while others are being found mutilated and murdered. As local superstitions breed fear, Tess is drawn into a web of lies that stretches from Cambodia to another murder in England, and a violent secret twenty years old. – via Goodreads
White Crocodile was a decent read, especially when you take into consideration that this is a debut novel from the author. What I did enjoy was the way that Medina picked an exotic country and a believable profession to get Tess Hardy there. She addressed the poverty of the third world country very well, and delved into how cruel and unjust situations can be out there, and what these ridiculous wars have done to the country as well as the innocent civilians who stay there. Initially it was a jumble to jump from Cambodia to London and back again, but that later comes full circle to tie the two together, but it was quite weakly linked ultimately, and feels that the big build up fell short when it came to delivering. Also, I had some issues with the characters (like Alex self harming, which was fine, but how Tess dealt with it is just beyond frustrating). There weren’t too many things that surprised me because just before some sort of reveal something gave it away. The plot was interesting, and it kept me engaged, though I was not completely pulled in. Some things just didn’t feel natural. I was not a fan of the ending at all seeing as I undertook this whole journey that spanned continents and all just to have it wrapped up in a few pages. I mean literally a few pages, and a hell of a lot of loose ends hanging around all over. Aside from that, I really liked how Medina jumps back into the past the whole time to explain the relationship between Tess and Luke and how it progressed, as well as how it came to the place where Tess took back her power. I really wish the dynamic between Alex and Tess had been explored a little more closely, but it conveyed the story and message nevertheless. The psychological sections of abuse suffered by a child and by a grown woman can be heavy to read, but are imperative to the story that Medina is telling. The characters are not as layered as you would hope, though you do get some more insight into a few, but not really enough. Some of the mysterious aspects were a little too easy to work out (the plane, for instance), and I wished the book woud have gotten to some intense and suspenseful place, which is never quite achieved. Maybe this is because I read a lot of books in the crime/mystery genre, so it takes quite a bit to shock or stump me. White Crocodile, while not as mysterious as I was hoping, wasn’t a total waste of my time, and I would recommend it for someone looking for a filler book, something that isn’t too heavy, or if you are interested in checking out new authors.