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Blood is Dirt
  “Robert Wilson is a class act. For once, a novelist influenced by Raymond Chandler is not shown up by the comparison.”
John Dugdale. Sunday Times.

Bruce Medway, fixer and debt collector in Cotonou, Benin, has heard a few stories in his time. The one that Napier Briggs spins to him is a little sketchy on the detail, but does not exclude the crucial fact that two million of his dollars have gone missing. Bruce and his sidekick, the ex-detective, Bagado, are used to hearing imperfect information from clients embarrassed at their own stupidity. But this time it leads to a murder so gruesome there's no doubt that it's a warning.

The unfortunate escapade would have ended there had it not been for Napier's daughter, the sexy, sassy and sussed Selina Aguia, a commodities broker from London. She steers Bruce into the savage world her father has chosen to inhabit, one of oil and toxic waste scams, of mafia money laundering, drug smuggling, of death and violence fuelled by booze, cocaine and sex. And what's worse for Bruce, Selina wants revenge against some powerful men, and with the scam she invents she looks as if she'll get it. But this is a world where blood is dirt. Nobody really cares, not even if they love you.

No. 3 in the Bruce Medway series.

What is dirt?
The title of this book is taken from a Wilfred Owen war poem called 'Inspection'. During a parade a soldier has been found with a mark on his uniform, but when he informs the officer that, rather than dirt it is blood that marks his clothing, the officer replies: 'Blood is dirt.' I thought this perfectly described an attitude prevalent in Africa.

Toxic Scams
There's something about Africa that brings out the savage in a white man. They find they just don't care about human life anymore, which is why the Italian mafia bring toxic waste and, rather than go through the expense of disposing of it or storing it safely, they just dump it in the countryside. This sort of thing can only happen if there's political corruption, official connivance and greed so the other strand of the story looks at 419 scams. 419 is the section number in the Nigerian penal code for Obtaining Goods by False Pretences. It normally takes the form of a letter written to someone in Europe or America in which it's explained that a huge amount of money is sitting in a government account, which can be liberated and shared out equally if the punter is willing to pay twenty thousand dollars for the right documentation to be drawn up. These scams are still going on to this day and people worldwide are still falling for them. So this book also becomes the story of a daughter's revenge.

304 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; New Ed edition (15 Jun 1998)
ISBN-10: 0006499759
ISBN-13: 978-0006499756