Review: “An African Affair” By Nina Darnton

Nina Darnton, author of An African Affair, lived in Africa for five years, two of them in Lagos. She has been a frequent contributor to The New York Times and NPR and a staff writer for Newsweek. We had the opportunity of reviewing her new novel An African Affair, a spy thriller set in Nigeria, and were amazed by her vivid description of corruption, fight for power and destruction of morale in Western Africa. What comes next is our take on the book.

A Brief Summary:

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.

Our Take:

This is probably one of the finest spy thrillers we have read in years…A truly vivid portrayal of what happens in some African countries.

The story is very well-written, filled with realistic details about life and politics in West Africa. The author’s first-hand experience of living in Nigeria has definitely come handy in writing the book as the plot is centered around the adventures of a young reporter working for a New York based newspaper called Globe. The sensitivity that the author demonstrates in describing her scenes is something that we have rarely seen in American authors.

At around 250 pages in length, the book is a relatively quick read and can be finished in one sitting. Overall, an entertaining, fast-paced thriller with a leg in reality.

Our Rating: 5.0

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