'[Williams] has done a fine job of marshalling new evidence and painting a vivid picture of a past era of Rhodesian colonists in long socks and white shorts, and of cold war politics played out through vicious proxy wars in Africa.' - Sunday Times 'Part detective, part archivist, part journalist, Williams schmoozed spies, befriended diplomats and mercenaries and won the trust of Hammarskjold's still grieving relatives and UN colleagues to get her tale. She unwinds each thread of the narrative with infinite patience, leading us carefully down the tortuous paths of Cold War intrigue.' - The Spectator 'Susan Williams' fascinating book explores the unresolved issues surrounding his death in a plane crash in central Africa. With the help of her engaging and no-nonsense style - part Miss Marple, part No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency - we are led through the messy, ugly and secretive dark arts of decolonisation in a world of white supremacists and Cold War lunatics. Kids: don't try this at home.' - Times Higher Education 'This welcome, and highly readable, historical detective story sheds yet more mystery on the sad fate of Dag Hammarskjold, arguably the most significant and influential UN secretary general. ... What the book does very well, through extremely thorough research of an international nature, is to highlight the controversies surrounding the crash and the numerous investigations into it. ... this is an important piece of research. It should be read by all those concerned with the activities of right-wing politicians and businessmen and their links to mercenaries, intelligence operations and European economic dominance in the post-independence Congo; and by those concerned with whoever may have been responsible for Hammarskjold's death and the weakening of the UN.' - International Affairs 'Her [Susan Williams'] impressive probing draws together previously secret archived material and witness statements never before aired. The book is rigorously academic, with intensive referencing and quotes from expert informants, but it is also an intriguing whodunnit, albeit one with particularly sombre connotations,' - The Canberra Times 'The death of Dag Hammarskjold is a major historical puzzle: in this meticulously researched and gripping account Susan Williams has left very few stones unturned in her attempt to unravel it. After reviewing both old and much new evidence she makes a compelling case for a fresh enquiry with full disclosure.' - James Mayall, Sir Patrick Sheehy Professor of International Relations, University of Cambridge 'If you want to read a work of serious, well-researched history as exciting as a James Bond novel, this important book, which vividly conveys the tumultuous decolonisation of the Congo, is the one for you.' - - Gerard Prunier, author of From Genocide to Continental War: The 'Congolese' Conflict and the Crisis of Contemporary Africa 'A short, taut and highly readable account of Hammarskjold's death that suggests strongly that the Secretary-General was the victim of a conspiracy hatched by some supporters of continued white domination in central Africa. ... This is a rivetingly good read and is exceptionally well researched.' - Stephen Ellis, Professor of African Studies, Free University of Amsterdam, and author, Season of Rains: Africa and the World 'The book reads like a thriller, as the author pursues archives, interviews and thousands of documents to find clues to the murder of a man who, according to the British and Belgians, died in an aircraft accident.' - Jamaica Observer
About the Author
Susan Williams has published widely on Africa, decolonisation and the global power shifts of the 20thc. receiving widespread acclaim for Colour Bar (Penguin, 2006), her book on the founding President of Botswana. Other recent books include The People's King (Penguin, 2003) and Ladies of Influence (Penguin, 2000), as well as edited volumes including The Iconography of Independence: 'Freedoms at Midnight' (2010). She is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.