by Geoffrey Jenkins
In his masterly new novel set against the superbly evoked backdrop of Southern Africa, Geoffrey Jenkins tells a story of action and intrigue which has its genesis in the colonial past, but which is played out very much in the present. Mining engineer Gareth Ridpath is flying to Lake Bangazi near the coast of Maputaland, on a mission that he knows may take him into danger. At first sight, however, the lake looks like a paradise of calm. In its centre stands a structure like an oil rig. This is the exclusive Bangazi Lodge formerly a missile testing centre, but now a recreational centre for executives run by a man called Ken Ziegler. Nearby, the Indian Ocean still keeps beneath its waves the evidence of one of the most heinous acts of the Second World War, when the liner Nova Scotia was sunk by a U-boat with the loss of seven hundred and fifty men, women and children. Now Ziegler is seeking permission to dive over the wreck. His request must be vetted by Ridpath's chance companion on the flight to Bangazi, Pernelle Clymer, a marine archaeologist. Her suspicions are soon aroused by Ziegler, and when the contact that Gareth had been hoping to make is fatally compromised, the two newcomers to the lodge find themselves being drawn into a web of conspiracy - a web that centres on Ziegler, but which reaches back through the generations. Eventually, Gareth must confront the secret of a legendary necklace, known as the Stones of the Daystar, a gift born of violence and destined to be forever dogged by death.