David H. Hendrickson's first novel, Cracking the Ice, was praised by Booklist as "a gripping account of a courageous young man rising above evil." He has since published six additional novels. Both Cracking the Ice and Offside have been adopted for high school student required reading.

His short fiction has appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, Pulphouse, and Fiction River. He is a multi-finalist for the Derringer Award and was honored with the 2018 Derringer for Best Long Story. He has released four short story collections.

Death in the Serengeti and Other Stories by David H. Hendrickson

From the mean streets of "Lynn, Lynn, City of Sin" to the sleepy suburbs… From the grime of the Boston subways to a tavern in the afterlife… From sandy ancient Israel to the plains of the Serengeti…

Award-winning master of mystery and suspense David H. Hendrickson finds crime and punishment wherever he looks… and these ten thrilling tales prove it. Includes a Derringer Award winning story, another Derringer Award finalist, and stories that appeared in Best American Mystery Stories, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and Fiction River.



  • "The stories in this collection will make you think, reflect on your own values and opinions, wrench you in the heart, punch you in the gut, and give you hope for the human race. Beautiful, captivating, and full of suspense, they kept me turning pages late into the night. A very enjoyable read, packed with power and awesome goodness. Highly recommended!"

    – JoslynChase, author of Nocturne In Ashes
  • "These stories aren't just about crimes; they make you feel why crime is wrong and how it soils the human soul."

    – Michael W Lucas, author of Butterfly Stomp Waltz
  • "['Death in the Serengeti' has] great setting, instantly engaging peril for the character...a definite Pulse Pounder."

    – New York Times bestselling author Kevin J. Anderson, "Death in the Serengeti"



THE SMELL OF newly rotting flesh hit Jakaya Makinda. He stopped his Land Rover, grabbed his binoculars off the seat beside him, and trained them in the direction of the odor's source.

Eighty meters away, mostly hidden by a rocky outcropping of man-sized boulders, lay the carcasses of a dozen or more slaughtered elephants.


Anger coursed through Makinda. He grabbed his Remington pump-action shotgun, and with his broad-brimmed hat shielding his eyes from the early morning sun, used the binoculars to scan the Serengeti's tall grass for predators. The poachers were long since gone, but he wasn't some damned fool white tourist, stepping out of the security of his vehicle, thinking how cute the animals were, all set to launch into "Hakuna Matata."

Out here, humans were food. Short and wiry, he'd be less of a meal than the overweight Americans whose entry fees paid his salary as Senior Park Ranger, but he had no interest in being any creature's gristly lunch.

He approached the rocky outcropping cautiously, binoculars dangling from his neck, his shotgun ready and his .38 holstered but loaded.

His stomach gave way when he stepped past the two largest boulders and saw the full extent of the carnage. Beside what had to be close to twenty dead elephants, their missing tusks sawn off at the roots, lay the carcasses of five hyenas, three jackals, and a couple dozen vultures.

The poachers, as they'd come to do, had poisoned the elephants with cyanide, killing them and everything that came to feast on their corpses, most importantly the vultures who wouldn't be left circling overhead for rangers such as himself to notice. The poison killed everything in its path, but made for an easier getaway.

Makinda gripped his shotgun tightly. He'd get these devils, these parasites who'd invaded even the Serengeti, Tanzania's greatest treasure. He'd get them if it was the last thing—

Behind him, his Land Rover exploded.

The force of the concussion knocked Makinda face-forward onto the ground. He tasted the tall grass in his mouth. Felt grains of the hard soil between his fingers. His ears rang.

He looked back over his shoulder and saw flames shooting up from the wrecked carcass of his vehicle. Makinda stared in disbelief and horror.