Mysterious Book Report An African Affair

An African Affair by Nina Darnton

Viking, $25.99, 256 pages, ISBN 978-0-670-02288-5

Okay, class, raise your hand if you know where Nigeria is located.  If you said “Africa, of course,” you’re right of course, but that’s like saying “the Catskills are in North America.”  It covers a wide patch of territory.  The truth is, I had to go look it up.  Nigeria is in the “dog leg” of the continent, it’s where the land stops heading north and starts heading west. In fact, Nigeria’s relationship to Africa is similar to Sullivan County’s to New York state; it’s situated in the arch.  So why the geography lesson?  Ahhh, it’s because this week’s MBR,  An African Affair, takes place there.  The novel is a short thrill ride by a first time author who was a foreign correspondent in Africa for five years, two of which were in Lagos, the capitol of Nigeria.

     Although the setting is exotic and the dictator is a compelling villain, I frankly didn’t enjoy this one so much because of the author’s excessive use of adjectives and adverbs; which, to my way of thinking, are signs of a lazy writer.  That said however, if you like the descriptive style of novels such as Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights or Madame ovary, you’ll probably enjoy this one which revolves around the actions of Lindsay Cameron, an intrepid foreign correspondent for a major American Newspaper. In quick order, she uncovers murder, corruption, armed rebellion, drug smugglers and a sinister dictator who’s busy looting the treasury.  And, not only that . . . she finds time to develop a love interest in the form of a mysterious London-based art dealer, a busy woman indeed.  Authors Robin Cook and Clive Cussler liked this one, but I’m finding it hard to agree.   Why don’t some of you read it and let me know what you think?


John Dwaine McKenna