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Sunday, June 26, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: An African Affair

TITLE: An African Affair
AUTHOR: Nina Darnton
PUBLISHER: Viking Adult
DATE OF PUBLICATION: July 7, 2011 (expected)
FORMAT: ARC paperback, 260 pages
GENRE: Thriller, Suspense
ISBN: 978-0670022885


An international thriller shot through with journalistic intrigue, political corruption, and romance that may not be what it seems.

After the assassination of a prominent Nigerian politician, New York journalist Lindsay Cameron moves to Lagos to follow a trail of corruption, drug smuggling and murder. What begins with a coveted and exclusive interview with President Michael Olumide quickly spirals into something darker and increasingly dangerous. When two high-profile figures on opposite sides of the political spectrum-Olumide's most trusted adviser and his archrival for the presidency-are killed in suspiciously quick succession, Olumide's promise to hold free elections is cast in doubt. As Lindsay races her colleagues to penetrate the intricate network of Western officials, foreign correspondents, and CIA agents who run the Nigerian show, her entanglement with a rare art dealer leads her into terrain that's unfamiliar in every respect-from matters of the heart to matters of politics and trade that have enshrouded an entire nation in greed and corruption of deadly proportions.

Set in the mid-1990s flux of worldwide insurrections and war, Nina Darnton's debut presents an ambiance that's as lushly exotic as it is unstable.


I won this ARC in a giveaway hosted by Goodreads First Reads.

Let me be frank: Politics bore me. My eyes tend to glaze over at the mere topic. Typically, I steer clear of any book with the word “politics” in the description. Despite the fact that this book is a political thriller, there was something in the synopsis that intrigued me.

I am glad that I trusted my gut because this book did not disappoint! This is Darnton’s debut novel. She is a gifted writer, and her career as a journalist segues into fiction writing.

Our protagonist is Lindsay Cameron, a foreign correspondent for the New York Globe who is currently in Lagos, Nigeria to cover the political unrest that she hopes will garner the coveted Pulitzer. Her character is likeable and gutsy. She knows what she wants and goes after it, putting herself in constant danger to uncover the treachery and fraud of a corrupt country. I love that Lindsay is a strong female character. She certainly is no damsel-in-distress!

I was fascinated by Darnton’s description of African culture and society. It is hard to imagine the corruption that exists in countries like Nigeria, but I realize that it does. The blatant bribery is shocking. Although this is a work of fiction, I have the impression that Darnton relied on her experiences as a journalist to bring attention to the type of depravity that that is prevalent in such a country. This gives her work an authentic feel.

I love the style of Darnton’s writing, and I was caught up in her whirlwind of danger and suspense. She has a way of grabbing the reader’s attention and holding onto it.

I look forward to reading Darnton’s next novel, and I hope that Lindsay’s adventures will continue. She is a great character. This book was a pleasure to read, and I recommend it.

MY RATING: 4 stars!

This book qualifies as:
#40 for my 2011 100+ Reading Challenge


  1. Thanks for an interesting and fair review! It is fun to step outside one's comfort zone and find a good read! Rae, Best O' Books

  2. Thanks, Rae! I was pleasantly surprised to see that I enjoyed it more than I thought that I would, given that it was centred around politics! In the past several months, I have read books that I never thought that I would read which has opened up new doors in terms of book genres. I like to try to keep an open mind.

  3. Oh no, I posted a long comment and word verification and I had a clash.... :(

  4. Wow! I'm an avoider of all things political as well but you make this one sound like a maybe.

  5. Oh no, Wendy! I hate it when that to re-hash? I'd love to hear your comments.

    Dana - I know, I thought so too! If you like reading suspense/thrillers and enjoy reading about different cultures, then I would say try it. You never know!


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