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So Few Come Out

222 pages3 hours


The 15th Jonas Forbes Thriller
1969, Jonas Forbes, ‘Enquiry Agent’, is now a married man. After 14 years sorting out problems, chasing villains and upsetting certain members of the ‘good and the great’, he’s still not got rid of that restless streak. So Vanessa, long his Girl Friday and now his wife, watches helplessly as he jumps at the chance of helping Reverend Obasi whose son has gone missing. Unfortunately, Emmanuel Obasi, a newly-qualified brain surgeon in London, has run off to Nigeria, then racked by a civil war with the secession of Biafra in 1967. Emmanuel’s lover had gone off to use her nursing skills her help her Igbo people suffering from the effects of the war and Emmanuel followed her. Then he suddenly disappeared.
Of course, the UK Foreign Office expect Jonas to do a ‘little job’ for them as Biafra slides to defeat but Jonas has other ideas. The High Commission in Lagos, however, has been warned about him by Whitehall critics, and won’t cooperate to the point of hostility. So Jonas disappears into the war zone near Owerri.
It’s December 1969 and the Nigerian Federal army, at last on the brink of victory, doesn’t welcome any intrusion which might disturb their strategy; nor do their opponents, fighting with their backs against the wall. Civilians are subjected to humiliation and violence from both sides and so obviously have little time for strangers. Standing both apart and above the battlefield is the ruthless Shaidan, as much a myth as reality, waging his own hate-filled campaign of atrocities against the Nigerian government and its supporters. Even so Jonas does find some help but he just can’t keep them with him. as the Federal net tightens on the last Biafran resistance Jonas falls into the hands of Shaidan. As he faces death it looks as if his mission has failed. At home DS John Wyatt, his long-time friend, and Vanessa can’t even find out where he is, let alone give him any help. Even so, the story isn’t over yet as other minor characters, such as a deserter from the Federal army and a disgraced sergeant out to catch him, have a part to play in the finale of an adventure which, the reader may recognise, eventually comes to be interpreted as three different scenarios.
This thriller is really dedicated to the little people, the victims of one of the most disastrous conflicts in the 20th century. It contains cruelty and heroism, endurance and deceit. It uses research into a war of such confusion that, even today, participants still argue about their roles and intentions.

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