“A vivid portrait of a troubled country.”—The New York Times
Corruption, drug smuggling, rampant human rights abuses—New York journalist Lindsay Cameron finds plenty to report, covering the regime of Nigeria’s President Michael Olumide. But in the aftermath of two probable assassinations, her inquiries attract unwanted government attention. As rebel factions call for free elections, Lindsay races to penetrate the intricate network of corrupt government officials, oil interests, and CIA agents who really run the Nigerian show. Meanwhile, her entanglement with a rare art dealer leads her still deeper into terrain that’s confounding in every respect, from matters of the heart to those of politics and trade. Drawing from Nina Darnton’s own experiences living in Africa during the mid-1970s—including imprisonment in Nigeria with her two small children—An African Affair is an edge-of-your-seat debut thriller in the bestselling tradition of The Constant Gardener and The Last King of Scotland.
Reporter Darnton draws on her five years in Africa for her less than successful debut novel, the first in a thriller series. In 1994, gutsy American journalist Lindsay Cameron, a foreign correspondent for the New York Globe, joins the paper's new full-time bureau in Nigeria at an extremely turbulent time. Dissidents are challenging the country's military dictator, Gen. Michael Olumide, whose repressive regime is funded by narcotics trafficking. While trying to expose Olumide's campaign against his opponents without running afoul of the authorities, Lindsay gets a respite from her grueling job in the person of James Duncan, an art gallery owner in search of West African art to purchase, who proves a potential love interest. Meanwhile, the CIA must regroup after the murder of their most valuable agent in Nigeria. While the portrayal of endemic corruption compels (almost every transaction requires a bribe), stock situations and a plot development that most readers will anticipate many chapters ahead of the lead character erode the hard-edged realism.