2024 Peace Corps Writers Maria Thomas Fiction Award Winner!



One Beats The Bush, The Max Donovan Adventures #1

by Riall Nolan (Senegal 1965–68)


Riall Nolan (Senegal 1965-68) grew up in upstate* New York, and joined the Peace Corps after graduating from college. He was sent to Senegal, in West Africa, an experience from which he has never fully recovered.

While there he began to notice that many development projects didn’t work very well, largely because outside experts lacked basic cultural understanding of local communities. That’s when he decided to become an anthropologist.

He headed to the University of Sussex in England where he obtained a doctorate, and began working around the world as a development planner. He spent nearly twenty years overseas, in places like Papua New Guinea, Senegal, Tunisia and Sri Lanka. When he returned to the US at long last, he became a university administrator in charge of international education at several large research universities. His goal was simple: get as many young Americans out of the country as possible, by any means necessary.

In 2010, he finally moved back into the ranks of the faculty, where he taught courses in development anthropology, cross-cultural adaptation, and the application of anthropology to global grand challenges. Before retiring in 2020, he split his time between Purdue University in Indiana and the University of Cambridge in the UK.

He is the author of eight academic books on anthropology and numerous articles. He has also published a guide to mountaineering in Papua New Guinea. Now his focus is on adventure novels.

Today, he lives with his wife Christine in a small university town, venturing forth as often as possible on exciting trips to faraway places. Aside from writing gripping fiction, he writes, hikes, makes furniture and tries to fix the house.

• • •

One Beats The Bush

Vietnam veteran Max Donovan is in Bangkok, and very hungover, when his friend “Fat” Freddie Fields is arrested in San Francisco for the murder of an Australian diplomat.

He knows his old buddy would never hurt a fly, so he rushes back to the Bay Area to help. There he locks horns with the District Attorney who seems intent on pursuing the case.

Suspecting Freddie is being framed, Donovan tries to rustle up some cash to bail him out, but only succeeds in getting into trouble with the local mob.

He’ll have to solve the case on his own. Unfortunately, the only clue he has suggests the answers lie in the jungle-covered mountains of Papua New Guinea, and the shark-filled waters of the Coral Sea.

As he comes face to face with smugglers, hostile tribesmen, insurgents, and a web of corruption and deception, can Donovan achieve what is seemingly impossible in this high-octane, action-filled adventure full of nail-biting suspense?

One Beats the Bush is the first novel in the Max Donovan Adventures series written by Riall Nolan.

• • •

One Beats The Bush, The Max Donovan Adventures #1
by Riall Nolan (Senegal 1965-68)
The Book Folks Publisher
June 2023
235 pages
$16.99 (Hardcover), $8.99 (paperback), $2.99 (Kindle)

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