James Clarke’s review

Southern Africa was cauldron of conflict in the 1980s following the fall of the Portuguese colonial empire and the dogged white rule in Rhodesia. In this stew a small group of hard-core Stalinists saw a way to help regain their power after communism collapsed in Russia by using stolen nuclear missiles to create international chaos.

Victor Kennedy, a young ex-Rhodesian soldier becomes inadvertently enmeshed when he is hired by a British billionaire to find a son missing somewhere in Southern Africa. The search leads him through a tangled mesh of underground movements into war-torn Mozambique, and into a bloody fight where he learns of the Soviet plot … and is captured before he can do anything.

British and American intelligence also learn of the plot and try to turn it around to their advantage, at the cost of hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lives.

The story accelerates through many twists and turns. Kennedy is sent with an old friend, a Mozambican ex-guerilla, to forestall the plotters, which takes them to a spectacular climax in Madagascar.

The writer, Wilf Nussey, is a journalist of forty years experience, most as a foreign correspondent, and most of that in the turmoil of Southern Africa, which he knows intimately.

Darts of Deceit is extremely well written, well researched and based it on his extensive experience as one of those newsmen who was always where the action was, when violence created wave after wave of unrest and the entire southern third of Africa was crawling with spies and agents provocateurs and sinister disappearances that remain unexplained to this day.

I can appreciate craftsmanship when I see it and he is a master story teller worthy of the Fleming/Charteris school.

*****

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