Posts Tagged With: The Machiavellian Affair

THE MACHIAVELLIAN AFFAIR – synopsis

mach_coverBy Wilf Nussey
 
 When the Soviet Union crumbles in the late 1980s, control of its huge arsenal disintegrates. Member states go their own ways taking with them sophisticated weaponry. A group of old guard communists, seeing their power evaporating, exploits the situation to try to turn the clock back.
With stolen nuclear missiles they set out to create international crises in several parts of the world to discredit Moscow’s new liberalism, create openings for Russian military power and restore the credibility of communism.
One place they pick is Southern Africa, where black nationalism meets the barrier of apartheid. Missiles will be used to cause a major disaster for which South Africa will be blamed, triggering open war. Russian forces under the Red banner will rush to black Africa’s aid.
British and American intelligence get wind of this but are unwilling to take direct action. Britain’s MI6 opts to use the services of a billionaire and political intriguer with worldwide business interests whose son, a charter pilot in Kenya and covert MI6 agent, has disappeared on a flight to Mauritius. He hires Victor Kennedy to find his son.
Kennedy is an out-of-work Briton who fought for Rhodesia in the guerilla war there. The search leads him via murky exile groups in South Africa to Mozambique, where he enlists the help of the rebel underground and the sinister security police discover his presence.
The CIA learn of the Russian plot from their own sources. They inform the national security advisor and he decides to turn the tables by seizing guidance control of the hijacked  nuclear missiles and blaming the apartheid government in South Africa.
Kennedy finds the missing son and discovers the full ramifications of the plot but is captured. Meanwhile South Africa’s intelligence chiefs have been tipped off and ironically discover their objective is the same that of Mozambique’s Frelimo rulers, who have also learned of the plot: destroy it. They go to Kennedy’s assistance.
The story moves between the political machinations in London, Washington and Southern African as the competing groups move to abort the rebel Russians’ scheme or take it over for their own objectives.
It rises to taut and violent action as Kennedy and a Mozambican colleague move to destroy the missiles, and reaches spectacular climax in the depths of Madagascar.
The scenes, cities, wilderness, technology and most of the names are authentic. The vivid characters are fictitious but modelled from life.
This book is a re-issue of “Darts of Deceit” with a title and cover picture more appropriate to the complexity of the story.
 
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Author Ian Barker’s review – The Machiavellian Affair

Rhodesian ex-soldier Victor Kennedy accepts the job of finding the missing son of a prominent businessman. He soon finds himself involved in a dangerous scheme involving stolen nuclear missiles and a plan to destabilise both southern African and Russian politics.

The lines between good guys and bad guys blur as the story moves between locations to reach its thunderous climax.

It’s a little slow to get started but worth persevering through the early stages as Darts of Deceit builds into a gripping thriller with an audacious plot.

*****

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By RomeReviewer

Penned by one of Southern Africa’s foremost journalists — and it shows — The Machiavellian Affair is a fast-paced thriller dripping with intrigue, memorable characters and plot-twists that just don’t quit. Historical and political detail as well as local colour are obviously the work of a writer who knows the territory from first-hand experience.
By the time you reach the end, you’ll be bleary-eyed from staying up too late, and wondering how much of it is based on real characters and events that to this day lay hidden in the murky netherworld of international political intrigue.

*****

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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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