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This NOVEL is set predominantly in the mid to late '70's when the Rhodesian Bush War was at its height, before the Lancaster House agreement and the birth of Zimbabwe. 

The winds of change are blowing through Africa and like clouds, lives are being fragmented, altered or blotted out in an instant. 

It is the story of Andy Mason, a decorated and respected Special Forces combatant in the Rhodesian SAS. His journey takes the reader back in time from the horror of war with the stench of burnt cordite and sudden death to Andy as a schoolboy discovering the beauty and dangers of Africa for the first time on a trip to Northern Rhodesia in the '60s. We follow Mason's rise as an ambitious young financial executive and the sequence of uncanny events, amid high-flying fraud and corruption in the concrete jungle of Johannesburg that lead him to an existence surrounded by blood, fear, and death in the African bush. This is powerful and authentic story-telling. The author captivates you in a compelling theatre of the mind, revealing in dramatic detail, the sights, the sounds, the smells, and the fear. 

Andy falls for laughing, beautiful Alyson Carstens, the spoilt and protected darling of wealthy parents, but even there the war takes its toll. This is yet another gripping piece of story-telling and the author succeeds remarkably well in getting into the skin of this anguished young girl as dreams turn to nightmares and the consequences of betrayal and guilt materialize in tragedy.

The contrast is startling - the stark reality of war, mutilation and death and the lavish lifestyle of the Salisbury elite; elegant dancing and dining with a rifle always at the ready; luxurious living on the prosperous farms that have been in families for generations and armed convoys anywhere outside the city. But the writing is on the wall; the superbly trained Rhodesian army never lost a battle, yet they are fighting a war they cannot win. 

This is a fast moving, passionately told story of danger, love and tragedy.

Paperback, 412 pages. First published 2014.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ian Mackenzie was born in 1949 in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. He was educated at Queen's College in Queenstown and Parktown Boys High in Johannesburg. He served with the Rhodesian military during the bush war from 1976 to 1980, where he met his wife Rosemarie Kennedy. He has two sons in their 30's and currently lives with his wife in Johannesburg.

 

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