Monday, November 7, 2016


Engrossing Espionage Novel

Have you ever been to Lagos, Nigeria? No? Neither had I, until I read this engaging novel by world-traveler Francesca Salerno. Her depiction of Lagos and of the now-capital of Nigeria, Abuja, made me feel I had landed in the west coast of Africa, along with her heroes, CIA counter-terrorism officer Kate Langley and former Pakistani spy chief Mahmood Mahmood, sometime allies, longtime friends, embroiled in trying to keep nuclear warheads from the terrorist Boka Haram al Qaeda fanatics and prevent a jihadi from detonating conventional explosives embedded in tons of toxic chemicals downtown.
The novel moves rapidly, with Kate Langley and other Westerners trying to find the causes for and prevent further consequences of the explosive sinking of a Russian nuclear submarine off the coast of Nigeria. They are aided by such admirable Nigerians as Goodfellow Obadu and his beautiful and bright wife, Kema, a couple determined to do what is right. They are opposed by an evil former schoolmate of Obadu: a fanatic Moslem man intent on bringing terror to Lagos. Many interesting characters populate this story, and most of them are more-or-less admirable, and several sub-plots add spice.
Although this is the second of Salerno’s novels about the Langley-Mahmood pair, it can be read without having read the first, The Pakistan Conspiracy, which I have just downloaded to read soon. It wouldn’t surprise me if a third in the series is in gestation.

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