Link to Zoogoer Magazine
From: Friends of the National Zoo, Zoogoer Magazine, July/August 2002
Poaching and traffic in wildlife, illegal logging, undercover operations, and mistaken identities are the
stuff of this conservation-themed thriller set in a fictional West African nation. Author Agi Kiss is an ecologist with
the World Bank, where she manages environmental projects in Africa. In A Road Through Mali-Kuli,
her first novel, Kiss' first-hand knowledge of the challenges of conservation in Africa are abundantly evident: she
knows what she's talking about, capturing the motley assortment of people and egos who play in this arena, as well as the
real politik of the conflict between conservation, development, and corruption. This is also a great read, with an intriguing
mystery, colorful characters you care about, and deft descriptions of African life that are never didactic. The ending
leaves open the possibility of a series featuring the story's sympathetic heroine, a peripatetic NGO professional trying to
find time for a life outside of work.
ELLEN FROM VIRGINIA: Agi Kiss
has used her wealth of experience in Africa and in ecology to provide a story which has something for everyone and more. As
a person who has lived in Africa and as an avid birder, it is wonderful to read something which points out the current environmental
concerns in Africa and around the world. If you have never lived there, you will feel descriptions which make you know the
forest. If you have been around, Agi's references bring back memories of sights and sounds which have to be among the richest
anywhere. The mystery is not predictable and I look forward to reading more from this author. I am giving this as a gift to
several people with an interest in the real world.
VERONICA LI FROM VIRGINIA: Mali Kuli
may be an imaginary forest in an imaginary African country, but the reality it represents rings true. Kiss aptly depicts the
color of a forest--green from a distance, but on closer look one would see yellow, red, black and so on. Her eco-thriller
reflects this phenomenon--one color on the surface but as one delves deeper, the layers of intrigue unfold. A colorful cast
of characters adds spark to the action. From pygmies to poachers, diplomats, scientists, undercover agents and aid workers,
Kiss makes each individual come to life. She definitely writes with the authority of someone who has met those people and
lived among them.
KLARA FROM NEW YORK: This is
a book you can't put down once you started it. It is highly entertaining. I particularly like the details about pigmies' lives,
tribal customs and the position of women in the African tribal life. Bring it along on a trip, read it while you are waiting
in a doctor's office and you won't be bored. Time will fly. The author knows a lot about Africa and conveys this knowledge
very colorfully and with great compassion for the harsh life and struggles of people in these underdeveloped countries.
If you like animals, you will love this book.
BHAMABALA FROM MARYLAND: Compliments on a great first novel.. . you have evoked the atmosphere of Africa very convincingly.
And you managed to create the air of intense suspense and mysterious peril lurking everywhere right from the start and sustained
it till the very end. The many descriptive passages are effective as pen portraits, whether
you talk of is the great outdoors and the forests, or the villages and huts, or the hotels and wooden decks.
I hope your book will be made into a movie sometime. There is fast-paced action, involving so
many characters, but they are sharply delineated, and the opening list, like the dramatis personae
in a play, helps the reader to follow the action initially.
ALEJANDRA FROM WASHINGTON, DC:
I enjoyed it a lot. Loved heroine Carol Simmons, Thor, Maleke, Jonathan
and everyone else. Itīs very refreshing to know that there are people in this institution with the imagination and courage
to take advantage of the Bank experience to create first-rate fiction. You might want to start the next one! This
fan is already waiting.
Nalin (Washington, DC): I thoroughly
enjoyed your unputdownable book. And let me tell you that I am a very fussy reader as far as whodunits go. And now for
the inevitable question--when do I get to enjoy the sequel?
Hartwig Schafer (Washington, DC): Your book is great. I really enjoyed reading it and found it so real - many scenes I could identify with and it clearly
shows that an "insider" is the author. Congratulations for providing a fascinating, interesting, and entertaining diversion.
I stayed up until 2 am when I got to the final 100 pages and just wanted to read all the way to the end
Paul (Washington, DC): I genuinely
enjoyed [the novel] and think you did an excellent job of capturing culture, political culture and environmental elements.
I have been in Kenya more than 25 times over the years (more often than not staying at the Norfolk), almost that many times
in Uganda, and twice recently in Rwanda ...You did a wonderful job of capturing a part of the world that means a
lot to me. Congratulations. If you write another novel, I want to read it.