Framing the Dialogue


In Assegai by Wilbur Smith we meet young Leon Courtney who is a young officer in Britain’s King’s Rifles.  When his successful life and death struggle to survive a brutal native attack actually ges him arrested he becomes disillusioned with military life.  His high-ranking uncle convinces him to stay and participate in a special spying mission to try to learn what Germany is planning on the eve of what will be World War I.  Taking a job as a hunting guide is the perfect cover.  All goes well until he meets the lover of a German industrial giant and things start to unravel.

“And why would a senior figure in the Kaiser’s Germany, a major arms manufacturer or one of their consorts, suspect a fresh-faced innocent like you of being a nefarious secret agent?”

This was a very well written spy novel.  The setting was unusual in that it was in pre-World War I Africa.  I’ll stipulate that I knew very little about that place in that time.  What is striking is the backdrop of the shear number of animals that were hunted back in those days.  If you’re squeamish about hunting, you may want to skip this novel.

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