Sean Butler joins the B.S.A. Police in white-ruled Rhodesia on a three-year contract, intending to go home at the end of it, but finds that "He who has drunk of the waters of the Nile will return to drink again" – once an African, it is difficult to leave.
White Rhodesians desperately resist ceding power to the insurgent black majority, and Sean joins the Police Anti-Terrorist Unit and SWAT.
Jason Dube, a Matabele tribesman, resents the white domination of his people, but shares an interest in boxing with Sean.
Marizani, Sean's loyal interpreter, driver and advisor, a Mashona, has reservations about both whites and the Matabele.
Zemba, a sinister Central Intelligence Organisation operative, has never forgiven Sean for humiliating him in a boxing match.
During the genocidal Gukurahundi campaign against the Matabele, which killed an estimated 20,000 civilians, Jason's sister is abducted by a ZANU 5th Brigade unit led by Zemba.
Sean and Jason oppose ZANU's post-war government through a business association, while commercial farms invaded by ZANU's thugs lie fallow, the people starve and businesses are stolen recklessly by the new regime.
With state-sponsored violence escalating, Jason is content to fight fire with fire, but Sean and Shirley have to decide whether they can survive in the new Zimbabwe...
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