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Summary

An action thriller by the classic adventure writer Desmond Bagley about security consultant Max Stafford, set in Kenya.

When a legacy of £40 million is left to a small college in Kenya, investigations begin about the true identities of the heirs - the South African Dirk Hendriks and his namesake, Henry Hendrix from California. Suspicion that Hendrix is an impostor leads Max Stafford to the Rift Valley, where a violent reaction to his arrival points to a sinister and far-reaching conspiracy far beyond mere greed....

©1981 Brockenhurst Publications (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic reviews

"As long as meticulous craftsmanship and honest entertainment are valued, and as long as action, authenticity, and expertise still make up the strong framework of the good adventure/thriller, Desmond Bagley's books will surely be read." (Reginald Hill, Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers)
"Bagley is a master storyteller." ( Daily Mirror)
"Mr Bagley has no equal at this sort of thing." ( Sunday Mirror)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

A bit muddled

I like desmond bagley novels. Some are very good. However I have found this a bit muddled and hard to follow. Reading was good. Just felt a bit disappointed by the plot line.

1 person found this helpful

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Perfect combination of action and history

I have been a fan of Desmond Bagley in the late 80's when I was given a unsold hardback copy at a school jumble sale. And the is one of my favorite... The story holds as it's written for and is based in the 80's and the history of things from the 70's and the environment the political climate is fully explained, and it doesn't assume what is already known. So I feel it's perfect for anybody who wants an action story without a singing dancing mobile phone on hand for the hero of the story. As I have listen to the Jack Klaff audio the most I can not help but compare, and I would say that Paul Tyneman American and English accents are fine but his South African, Kenyan India/ African kind of sound the same, so had to listen out for who was speaking rather than just listening to what has been said. And Jack Klaff accents for voices on the African continent are excellent, his English and American are ok, which probably shows how hard it is to do all the voices. For this story. But as always this story reminds me to add ballooming on my bucket list.. Will now listen again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • GT
  • 14-06-21

Not Bagley's best and possibly his worst book...

I am a fan of Desmond Bagley having read most of his books when they came out in the 70's and 80's. I like his attention to detail, especially on guns, cars, planes etc...
I had not heard of this book until I saw it on Audible and so had not read it - and was looking forward to a classic Bagley fast paced plot, with twists and turns...
I was to be disappointed.
This is a slow book, with a labouring introduction, multiple characters and fairly uninteresting subject. It might have been more interesting in 'period' but the fact that nothing actually happens - it's all only 'threat' and mild at that - makes the whole story rather dull.
I can only think that it was not reviewed well, when first published and sunk without trace, only to be resurrected by Audible on the strength of Bagley's other masterpieces.
Finally, the narrator has a rather 'boring' voice which is out of keeping with the international setting of the novel - although he may have been struggling to keep his interest, too.

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Complex but tangible story

Lots of characters but we'll written and read at a steady pace so you can keep track. A typical Bagley, kept suspense all the way through

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Poor accents, impossible story

You really need to get a narrator who can do all the accents required by the story... which ... incidentally, is impenetrable after about 10 chapters,