From the Author
A small New Zealand company trying to survive in the billiondollars per year phosphate industry critical to the country's agricultureeconomy, is forced to purchase an eco-friendly fertiliser from Syria during aperiod of emerging international trade embargoes.
New Zealand however is not subject to EU or US sanctions andan injury-incapacitated ex-rugby player and former weapons trader - Alain Foveuax- is called on to negotiate what seems at the outset to be a simple deal toprocure fertiliser.
When Alain reaches Damascus he is oblivious to the dangerousvortex he is about to enter. His firstshock is the sight of a former Russian lover, the beautiful ValentinaGolosapova, whom he had searched for in vain for years following their liaison duringhis days as a gun runner amidst the Balkan crisis. His second shock is the dawning reality thathe is no longer the dynamic physical specimen he once was on the rugby pitchand as a SAS captain in the jungles of Vietnam.
In a struggle for global domination, opposing Super Powerswrestle to rule the fabric of this war-torn State. When the US imposes financial strangle-holds aroundSyria and Alain's government succumbs to latent economic threats by the US, theNew Zealand government wages war against its own. The Russians intervene, aiding Alain to setup a complex international banking labyrinth to defeat the US trading blockade.
Now a FSB (formerly the KGB) colonel, Valentina emerges as ahidden hand. Together with young FSBLieutenant Egor Koltsov she protects a stumbling Alain from attemptedkidnapping and assassination orchestrated by over-zealous C.I.A. operativeDwight Arnold, and ushers him through the black corridors of money laundering.
Striving to prevent the Kiwi at any cost from achieving thisobjective and embarrassing the US government, Dwight the C.I.A station headclashes with the diplomatic approach favoured by the urbane and gay US Ambassador. Dwight becomes not only the nemesis of theAmbassador but a fast-burning fuse in a powder keg environment.
Intrigue and perfidy is introduced to the commercialnegotiations between Alain and Assad Ministers when corrupt officials turn onAssad loyalists, kidnapping the daughter of a loyalist Minister who Egor fallsfor at first sight.
International terrorist and money launderer Yasin emerges asthe sword of vengeance. As theconspirators grapple for control of the money network set up by Alain and theRussians to pay for the phosphate, the kidnapped Syrian girl becomes a pawn ina lethal climax.
The girl's brutal treatment by Yasin is the catalyst forEgor to unleash and Alain is forced to defend his position or die. A violent ending amidst the exotic Romanruins of Palmyra on the Old Silk Road has tragic consequences.