An African Affair by Nina Darnton is a fictional book taking place in Nigeria. Ms Darnton is a seasoned reporter who found herself in a Nigerian jail after her husband, a New York Times reporter, filed some uncomplimentary stories about the ruling regime.
Lindsay Cameron is an American journalist for the New York Globe posted in Lagos, the capitol of Nigeria. Lindsay covers the corrupt government of Michael Olumide which puts her in the radar of the regime.
Going to a party at the US embassy Lindsay starts investigating a murder which neither the regime or the embassy’s CIA operatives want her to stick her nose in. At the same party she also meets with, and falls in love with, James who is an art dealer specializing in African art.
An African Affair by Nina Darnton might make a stirring memoir and is a decent political thriller. I truly enjoyed how Ms. Darnton captured Nigerian culture and corruption which is accompanied with vast internal tribal interests as well as vast outside ones such as oil and drugs.
I have been in several places where blatant bribery is not only accepted, but expected (I’m looking at you, South American border guards) and as shocked as I was the first time, I realize that not many places are that different. But please consider that I spent most of my life in New Jersey where bribery is legal.
The writing style is clear, fast and easy to read. Ms. Darnton does an excellent job grabbing the reader’s attention and not letting go. The characters are interesting and well written, but I find them too black and white for my taste. After all, the people who work in clandestine operations and behind the scenes are known for their “grayness” and ability to blend in–not to stand out. There are many female characters, none of which I found very interesting besides the narrator/protagonist.