Supported by his death squads, President Solomon Mabato rules his East African fiefdom with ruthless efficiency. Thousands have died since he seized power in a brutal military coup. When David Holt, a British university lecturer, is arrested and held to ransom under sentence of death, Her Majesty’s Government refuses to give in to Mabato’s outrageous demands.
Unable to secure Holt’s release by conventional means, The British PM and his Director of SIS, resort to drastic measures: the clandestine recruitment of a small team of freelancers. The contract: to spring Holt from the notorious Maboru Prison and fly him to safety.
Keel is the man chosen to lead the snatch squad. Regular soldier turned mercenary and a veteran of wars in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia, he knows this is tantamount to a suicide mission, but it’s a challenge too inviting to turn down. And the money’s good.
But other factions are at work. Hamilton Kemba, the man toppled by Mabato and now living in exile in Kenya, wants his country back. A previous invasion attempt failed. This time, Kemba chooses a different tactic. Intercepting Keel in Nairobi, he offers the mercenary and his team a secondary contract; to kill Mabato. When Keel declines, Kemba turns to another: the Zulu assassin, Qetuka.
As the two independent missions converge, they trigger a chain of events in which violence, betrayal and sudden death are irretrievably linked.
From the resulting carnage, very few participants will emerge unscathed.
Cynical and world-weary, Crow’s a pilot and a drifter. His skills honed flying helicopter gunships, he’s now earning a precarious living, ferrying relief supplies to refugee camps along the length of Pakistan’s north-west frontier.
Until the arrival of a local resistance leader, with a very lucrative job offer. All Crow has to do is airlift a critically ill Mujahideen field commander to hospital in Peshawar. Nothing to it, save for one slight snag. The pick-up point lies across the Durand Line, deep in Afghanistan.
And there’s a war on.
But there’s no denying the money’s good and so, against his better judgement, Crow accepts the contract. The flight in proves remarkably easy; too easy, in fact; and when an unexpected welcoming committee turns his helicopter into a heap of charred metal, Crow finds his exit plan severely compromised.
The only way out is on foot. Beset on all sides by bandits, Afghan warlords, heroin smugglers and Soviet Special Forces, Crow makes his run for the border.
And that’s just the beginning…
May 1945. The Baltic Coast. As the Russians tighten their stranglehold on Berlin and the British and Americans push north towards the Danish border, Doenitz's last surviving U-boat takes on board a top secret cargo, slips its moorings and heads for the deep waters of the North Atlantic. Destination: South America.
Present day: Michael Logan, former marine turned smuggler, faces a grim future in a Turkish jail. Until fate intervenes in the shape of his one-time partner, the irrepressible Harry Donovan, with the offer of a job assisting a wealthy industrialist in the search for his father - the Kriegsmarine's most decorated U-boat ace - reported missing at the end of the war, along with a fortune in gold bullion...
And as the hunt begins, so the scavengers start to converge, like wolves drawn to the scent of blood. But lured by what? The Reichsbank's stolen reserves or something else; perhaps a far more dangerous legacy.
A remote Greek island holds the key but it is only in the aftermath of a violent and bloody confrontation that the island’s chilling secret is revealed and the last, great mystery of World War Two is finally laid to rest.