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Instruments of Darkness
  “Robert Wilson dissects the dark heart of Africa with an insight and compassion that makes it so sleazily vivid you'd pay money not to go there.”
Val McDermid.

Bruce Medway, fixer and debt collector, operates along that stretch of West African coast they used to call The White Man's Grave. He spends his time drinking hard and getting steamy with his girlfriend Heike, a German aid worker. He always needs cash but finds he's bitten off more than he can chew when the formidable Madame Severnou, having given him a bedsheet full of money for a 7000 ton cargo of rice, comes back to collect. Warned off any notion of revenge by his client, Jack Obuasi, Bruce instead directs his energies into the search for missing British expat, Steven Kershaw.

Kershaw is a man of mystery: trader, artist, womanizer and sado-masochist. Bruce starts digging and, against a background of political disturbance, the usual official corruption and fearsome 'businessmen' with money on their minds, it's not long before he finds his first body. Egged on by his new friend, the Nigerian/Beninois detective, Bagado, he discovers the sinister forces that lie behind the workings of expat everyday life. These forces want their cut and they don't mind if it has human flesh in it.

No. 1 in the Bruce Medway African series.

The first of the two storylines came out of a cross-border trade that was going on at the time that I was in Benin as a result of Nigeria's ban on importing rice. The traders' way round the ban was to import rice into the Benin port of Cotonou, transport it by truck to the border and then, because the ban allowed for individuals to bring in 25kg of rice per person, they off-loaded it onto labourers who walked it across the border to a truck waiting on the other side. The second storyline stems from the need for people to 'get lost' in Africa. This huge continent has always been an ideal place for people running away from family problems, business difficulties or the police, to magically disappear. I'm fond of this book because it is my first and I still remember the excitement, after a year of working at it, of finally discovering the 'voice' that was going to be the motor for the African series.

400 pages
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd; New Ed edition (22 Jan 1996)
ISBN-10: 0006479855
ISBN-13: 978-0006479857