The best thing about 'A Single Step' is the author's determination to give an accurate account of the locale of his story. This is the last volume of Terry Oliver's 'third age' trilogy, novels that follow the exploits of Barney Roper who is exploring this third stage of his life. Two previous books recounted Barney's search for fulfillment, first in Vancouver and London, then in a second volume, an attempt to explore the teachings of Buddha while trekking through China and Tibet. Both books drew on the author's extensive travels.
This time out Barney, in his early 70's and living a comfortable life in the London area, determines to travel through West Africa to locate his youngest daughter who has been caught up in the aftermath of the conflict that devastated the region in the 1990s. As in his two earlier books Oliver has crafted this story carefully after having traveled extensively through the area in order to document the conditions he inserts into his story. The special difficulties of traveling through a war ravaged Sierra Leone are detailed as he continues his search. His characters are all well drawn and add immeasurably to the enjoyment of the book. The result is a story that I found to be both thought provoking and authentic in its detail.
Highly recommended for all readers, but especially for those whose passion is armchair travel.