Supported by his death squads, President Solomon Mabato rules his East African fiefdom with ruthless efficiency. Thousands have died since he seized power in a brutal military coup. When David Holt, a British university lecturer, is arrested and held to ransom under sentence of death, Her Majesty's Government refuses to give in to Mabato's outrageous demands.
Unable to secure Holt's release by conventional means, The British Prime Minister and his Director of SIS resort to drastic measures: the clandestine recruitment of a small team of freelancers. The contract: to spring Holt from the notorious Maboru Prison and fly him to safety. Keel is the man chosen to lead the snatch squad. Regular soldier turned mercenary and a veteran of wars in Africa, the Middle East and South East Asia, he knows this is tantamount to a suicide mission, but it's a challenge too inviting to turn down. And the money's good.
But there are other factions at work. Hamilton Kemba, the man toppled by Mabato and now living in exile in Kenya, wants his country back. A previous invasion attempt failed. This time, Kemba chooses a different tactic. Intercepting Keel in Nairobi, he offers the mercenary and his team a secondary contract; to kill Mabato. When Keel declines, Kemba turns to another: the Zulu assassin, Qetuka.
As the two independent missions converge, they trigger a chain of events in which violence, betrayal and sudden death are irretrievably linked. From the resulting carnage, very few participants will emerge unscathed.