The circumstances may differ, the characters too, but essentially it is truth disguised – as all good fiction should be.
Chris Ryan was no stranger to trouble After riding his bicycle on the corrugated iron roof of a country court-house during the trial of a friend by an unpopular magistrate, he progressed to burning down the shooting hides of a game-cropper who had poisoned waterholes on his father’s neighbouring game ranch. To avoid arrest, his father hurriedly packed him off to a friend in Australia. “It’s where they send all criminals like you,” his father joked. But Chris had other plans, and a score to settle.
It was a more responsible Chris who returns with his bride when his father is tragically killed by an elephant during a culling operation. They take on the running of the game ranch, but the Rhodesian Bush War intervenes and they are forced to leave for safety.
During an attack on a hilltop in Mozambique, the discovery of a clay jar containing ancient Phoenician Papyri seems of little consequence to Chris, until he hands it in to the wrong authority.
Zarena Bontoux is a victim of female genital mutilation and a heiroglyphics expert at the Cairo Museum in Egypt. A copy of the papyri is sent to her to decipher, but simply possessing it leads to the unraveling of her own history and the revisiting of a tragic past at the hands of her radical Islamic father.
Sir Percy Ladbroke is Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England. The days of the spies and ‘ring of five’ have long gone, but the legacy remains. A seemingly harmless gathering of retired old friends, meeting each Friday night at the club to help one of their own in a time of need.
Silas Tongara is the most wanted terrorist sought by the Rhodesian security forces for his brutal atrocities, many against his own people.