Kenneth C Ryeland
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In April 1967, a young British engineer arrives in Nigeria to take up his new job. The country is seven years into a volatile independence and Ken Ryeland struggles to come to terms with the culture shock and the endemic tribalism that pervades every level of society. On being transferred to Enugu, capital of the troubled Eastern Region, he is further challenged when the Regional Military Government rebels against the Federal Military Government in Lagos. An act of secession quickly follows and the short-lived Republic of Biafra is born. Almost immediately the new republic is plunged into a bloody and bitter war of survival with the Lagos Government and Ryeland finds himself trapped in the rebel enclave as Federal troops close in for the kill.
The Up-Country Man is a personal account of the events leading to secession and conditions inside Biafra during the early days of the Nigerian civil war.
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The Last Bature is a policeman's story set in Nibana, an imaginary West African state, shortly after gaining its independence from the British in 1962. What begins as a straightforward investigation by the last British policeman in the Northern Region and an African police inspector, quickly turns to intrigue when the intelligence services of the superpowers vie with each other to secure a breakthrough in weapons technology. Combine this with the machinations of an irrational regional military governor hell-bent on overthrowing his brother, the head of state, and the basis for an exciting story emerges. With the cold war as a backdrop and a second coup imminent, the action moves quickly from the heat of the Omdu Hills, through the stench of the Laguna slums to the waters of the Bight of Laguna, giving the reader an insight into the grubby world of espionage and life in West Africa during the turbulent sixties.
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The Mine is a political thriller set in Nibana, an imaginary West African state, several years after gaining independence from the British in 1962. With the Eastern Region about to secede and Nibana heading for civil war, the head of state invites an archaeology professor and his team to investigate some ruins in the Northern Region. The professor’s astonishing finds initiate a chain of extraordinary events that lead to abduction. A police investigation ensues, but becomes complicated when an Eastern Bloc country is commissioned to print currency for the secessionists, and an MI6 agent, working with the police, must hinder the secession by sabotaging the currency. An abandoned mine becomes the focal point when the agent, police and archaeologists are incarcerated there and discover its secret. Murder, breathtaking corruption, river pirates and rogue army officers; Ken Ryeland manipulates these ingredients in his usual consummate way to provide an exciting political thriller.
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Charlie Robinson arrives in Nibana from the UK to open a new branch for his company in Warunda, a dirty, depressing little oil town right in the middle of the hot, humid swamps of the Enube River Delta. An Australian bush pilot befriends him and this friendship has a dramatic effect on Charlie's life. Despite having to deal with corruption and greed from all quarters, Charlie manages to open the business. However, just as everything is going well the political situation deteriorates and Charlie finds himself in the middle of a civil war. His Australian friend is forced to fly an old DC3 for the rebel regime. His mission is to bomb the enemy capital, Laguna. However, the sortie is sabotaged and disaster strikes. Everything Charlie has worked for goes up in smoke and when he is within a split second of death, Charlie is faced with a once in a lifetime opportunity to make himself very rich. Having succumbed to the temptation, he fakes his own suicide and flees across two continents to secure the fortune. Later, Charlie and his new wife return to a different, more beautiful part of Africa. However, the portent of war catches up with him again and he is destined to reap the rewards of his actions. A story of greed, corruption and destruction, set in a small African township under the heel of the multinational oil companies.
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