Southern Africa was cauldron of conflict in the 1980s following the fall of the Portuguese colonial empire and the dogged white rule in Rhodesia. Author, Wilf Nussey, as head of the Argus Africa News Service was deep into that conflict.
I recall vividly his reports.
The region was crawling with spies and agents provocateurs hoping to install a communist regime.
Nussey using his great knowledge and insight has produced a thriller in which a small group of hard-core Stalinists see a way to help regain their power after communism collapsed in Russia by using stolen nuclear missiles to create international chaos operating from Africa.
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 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.
Nussey, one of those fearless newsmen who was always where the action was, uses his forty years experience in Africa, mostly as a foreign correspondent, to turn out a gripping story.
Darts of Deceit is well written and thoroughly researched and based in that period, not so long ago, when the southern third of Africa was in turmoil and when there were sinister disappearances that remain unexplained to this day.
Here is a master story teller worthy of the Fleming/Charteris school. One hopes there are more of his thrillers to come. - James Clarke