by Kev Edwards
Angola in West Africa is reputed to be the world’s single biggest exporter of illegal Blood or Conflict Diamonds. The recently elected democratic government is opposed to this crime and committed to routing out the perpetrators.
Their attempt at stopping the trade at source and redirecting the wealth it generates into relieving the misery of the country’s poverty stricken population falls apart when their own security services fail to identify and close down the illicit trade routes.
At this point Angola’s President calls in the International Marine Police to identify and destroy the smugglers whoever and wherever they are.
Commander Ellie Bannerman, a senior IMP Commander flies into the country’s capital to destroy the African end of the operation: the trade routes and those who run them once and for all. She soon finds that the smugglers are more than a match for her, a match that will stop at nothing to continue their trade. And in the midst of her early battles she misses a ship carrying the latest batch of stones bound for the new deep water port of Penzance in England’s most westerly county, Cornwall.
When the MV Portdown Castle arrives, Will Rogers, a local gangster, waits to transport the diamonds to their final resting place, Amsterdam, where a rogue diamond cutter will process them and infiltrate them into the legitimate diamond trade.
At the Cornish end of the operation lies Ben Petersen, another of the IMP’s field commanders. He has the task of tracking the shipment as it moves from Penzance to the wold’s Diamond Capital. And once there he must close down the European end of this illegal diamond route.
As challenging as Petersen’s role is, he soon finds out that the ship carrying the diamonds also bears a far more dramatic cargo: kidnapped women and girls bound for a life of slavery. Both the diamonds and the women are the product of one of Angola’s most secretive and well-hidden crooks, Doctor Malia Obodi, a man known only as a philanthropist in his home country.
As the story unfolds, Bannerman runs into severe trouble at the African end of the operation and Petersen has to continue his fight not knowing whether the love of his life is dead or alive. Whatever fate she’s suffered, the story follows Petersen and the IMP as they do what they’ve always done: destroy the worst of the world’s criminals, hell-bent on ruining people, communities and entire countries.
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