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An African Affair

An African Affair

5.0 1
by Nina Darnton

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“A vivid portrait of a troubled country.”—The New York Times

Corruption, drug smuggling, rampant human rights abuses—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


“A vivid portrait of a troubled country.”—The New York Times

Corruption, drug smuggling, rampant human rights abuses—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. Drawing from Nina Darnton’s own experiences living in Africa during the mid-1970s—including imprisonment in Nigeria with her two small children—An African Affair is an edge-of-your-seat debut thriller in the bestselling tradition of The Constant Gardener and The Last King of Scotland.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reporter Darnton draws on her five years in Africa for her less than successful debut novel, the first in a thriller series. In 1994, gutsy American journalist Lindsay Cameron, a foreign correspondent for the New York Globe, joins the paper's new full-time bureau in Nigeria at an extremely turbulent time. Dissidents are challenging the country's military dictator, Gen. Michael Olumide, whose repressive regime is funded by narcotics trafficking. While trying to expose Olumide's campaign against his opponents without running afoul of the authorities, Lindsay gets a respite from her grueling job in the person of James Duncan, an art gallery owner in search of West African art to purchase, who proves a potential love interest. Meanwhile, the CIA must regroup after the murder of their most valuable agent in Nigeria. While the portrayal of endemic corruption compels (almost every transaction requires a bribe), stock situations and a plot development that most readers will anticipate many chapters ahead of the lead character erode the hard-edged realism. (July)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sold by:
Penguin Group
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File size:
339 KB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Nina Darnton 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. She lives with her husband, the novelist John Darnton, in New York.

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AN African Affair: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Man_Of_La_Book_Dot_Com More than 1 year ago
An African Affair by Nina Darn­ton is a fic­tional book tak­ing place in Nige­ria. Ms Darn­ton is a sea­soned reporter who found her­self in a Niger­ian jail after her hus­band, a New York Times reporter, filed some uncom­pli­men­tary sto­ries about the rul­ing régime. Lind­say Cameron is an Amer­i­can jour­nal­ist for the New York Globe posted in Lagos, the capi­tol of Nige­ria. Lind­say cov­ers the cor­rupt gov­ern­ment of Michael Olu­mide which puts her in the radar of the régime. Going to a party at the US embassy Lind­say starts inves­ti­gat­ing a mur­der which nei­ther the régime or the embassy’s CIA oper­a­tives want her to stick her nose in. at the same part she also meets with, and falls in love with, James who is an art dealer spe­cial­iz­ing in African art. An African Affair by Nina Darn­ton might make a stir­ring mem­oir and is a descent polit­i­cal thriller. I truly enjoyed how Ms. Darn­ton cap­tured Niger­ian cul­ture and cor­rup­tion which is accom­pa­nied with vast inter­nal tribal inter­ests as well as vast out­side ones such as oil and drugs. I have been in sev­eral places where bla­tant bribery is not only accepted, but expected (I’m look­ing at you South Amer­i­can bor­der guards) and as shocked as I was the first time, I real­ize that not many places are that dif­fer­ent. But please con­sider that I spent most of my life in New Jer­sey where bribery is legal. The writ­ing style is clear, fast and easy to read. Ms. Darn­ton does an excel­lent job grab­bing the reader’s atten­tion and not let­ting go. The char­ac­ters are inter­est­ing and well writ­ten but I find them too black and white for my taste. After all, the peo­ple who work in clan­des­tine oper­a­tions and behind the scenes are known for their “gray­ness” and abil­ity to blend in – not to stand out. There are many female char­ac­ters, none of which I found very inter­est­ing besides the narrator/protagonist. As I men­tioned, I liked the descrip­tion of the cul­ture, but some­thing was miss­ing for me. I read many books and nov­els about Africa; from some rea­son the con­ti­nent fas­ci­nates me. How­ever, this time I didn’t learn any­thing new, nor did I get the feel­ing of the city/country/continent as being a char­ac­ter in the book. Yes the descrip­tions are there, but there are hot, sticky, smelly places even in these United States and I wager to say in every coun­try in the world (includ­ing Monte Carlo). The novel could have taken place in any medium sized bor­der town dur­ing this extremely humid and dry sum­mer. It could be just me, but I didn’t feel as if I was in Lagos. The twists and turns in the novel, while inter­est­ing, did not come as a sur­prise. In pur­pose or not they are pro­jected well ahead and the obser­vant reader would fig­ure out what’s going to hap­pen well in advance. The sense of time was lost on me in this novel as
laurashaine More than 1 year ago
this was Africa as I have never "read" it and I think you struck a consistent high tone...in touch with past and prescient re. current events. I think the book "resonates" with current situation in Libya with all the assassinations. A terrific blend of fiction and reportage and the adventure of being an international journalist. So happy that romance did not bear fruit! Very fresh and not cliched. I look forward to other "affairs" in foreign countries.