Intelligence officer Marika Hartmann captures an extremist foot-soldier guilty of a massacre of school children and aid workers in Southern Somalia. Renditioned to a CIA 'black site' in Djibouti, the prisoner hints at a terror plot in the making. Marika and ex-Special Forces colleague PJ Johnson team up to investigate, uncovering a cold-blooded conspiracy that will decimate the cities of the West.
From the refugee camps of East Africa to the azure waters off the Iranian coast, the marshes of Iraq to Syria's parched eastern desert, Savage Tide is a manhunt, a quest for truth, and a desperate search for the legacy of a cruel regime bent on dominating the world.
Greg Barron is a world traveller who has studied International Terrorism at the prestigious St Andrew's University. His critically acclaimed thrillers reflect his fascination with political, social and environmental change.
Praise for Greg Barron's novels:
'A superlative political thriller' Rob Minshull, ABC
'A high-octane thriller ... the pace is excellent, the writing is sharp and Barron has a real talent for the evocation of place ... sufficiently gripping to keep you up at night' The Australian
'Barron is not one to pull his punches' Courier-Mail
'Barron echoes the work of authors such as MacLean, Clancy and Ludlum' Canberra Times
'Supremely intelligent and written at breathtaking pace, Savage Tide combines the very best of a thriller by Tom Clancy with the Boys Own action blockbuster of someone like Chris Ryan. The speed of the action is matched only by the sophistication of the prose and the originality of the plot. Greg Barron has proved he is a political thriller writer at the very top of his game.' ABC Weekend Bookworm
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By Greg Baron
HarperCollins PublishersCopyright © 2014 Greg Baron
All rights reserved.
Chakula Refugee Camp
Fourteen kilometres from the white tents and makeshift tukuls
of the camp, just past the rutted, muddy crossing place they call
buundo, Khadija Onyango emerges from the yellow school bus
into the open air, slow with her pregnancy and a languor brought
on by the warmth of the day. Forty-seven children aged from fi ve
years to twelve mill around the bus, their teachers nagging and
haranguing them into lines.
The sky is clear and razor sharp. The broad Jubba River winds
through desiccated plains and stone ridges. The scent of mud and
hippopotamus dung mingles with that of fragrant yellow and white
iris fl owers, scattered on the high ground among the dry stubble.
This is a perfect day, Khadija thinks, hugging her shoulders in
anticipation, for dragonfl ies, birds, and children singing on the
bus. A day for holding hands, childish secrets, and fi rst kisses.
A day to forget the realities of the camp, if just for a few hours.
While the children dance and chase, the driver distributes the
provisions that had been carefully hoarded for the picnic. Teachers
direct the children into a rough line and set off. Khadija follows,
carrying a box of oranges over her swollen belly. Workers from
the camp who have elected to join the excursion walk nearby,
one American, one French, and it is good to hear their banter —
doctors from MÃ?decins Sans FrontiÃ res.
Looking ahead at the laughing children, Khadija lifts a fold
of her yellow kikoi. Dabs fi rst at one eye, then at the other.
Soon she will be leaving them. This afternoon she will catch the
World Food Program delivery plane, the Antonov 32, to Nairobi,
Kenya for the last four weeks of her pregnancy. Travelling such a
distance is a frightening thought, but there are complications to
her pregnancy. A Type 1 diabetic, she is now showing signs of
Matthew Doni, another helper at the school, catches up to her
on the beaten earth of the track, clicks his tongue, and takes
the oranges from her hands. He is a big Tanzanian, broad across
the shoulders. A brass disc hangs from a chain around his neck,
nestling just below the muscular notch of his collarbone.
'I can manage it,' Khadija says, hands fl ying to her hips, mock-
offended. 'I'm pregnant, not crippled.'
'I said nothing.' Matthew smiles at her, his voice deep and
honey-sweet to her ears. 'But why should you carry so much
when I have so little?'
The gentle Tanzanian is in love with her, she knows that.
Seems not to care that he isn't the child's father. Yet she does
not love him. When Anyap, her husband, was killed in inter-clan
fi ghting in the camp, she vowed never to love again. Now she is
not so sure — but she knows that Matthew is not the one.
Khadija smiles at how the children leave their lines and dance
around the adults, unable to control their excitement as they
move over a crest and towards the rounded glade, grassy and
fertile alongside the dense scrub that hides the river.
Originally Khadija came to Chakula Camp with Anyap after
gunmen from the Islamist group al-Muwahhidun had terrorised
the farming district where they scraped together a living. After
Anyap's death she was able to get a job helping at one of the
UNICEF-run schools. Khadija can read and write, in English and
Somali. These skills are prized by the foreign aid workers running
Finally reaching the glade, with glimpses of the brown fl owing
river through the crouton bush and fi cus trees, Khadija watches
Matthew throw the picnic blankets, sunshine slanting through
from the trees. She laughs, hands crossed over her middle, aware
that this is one of those moments that she would like to freeze
and keep in her heart. Hibo, one of the boys, exhorts her to sit
on the folding chair he carried for her from the bus.
'I love you, Miss Khadija,' he says, bringing her a sandwich
and packaged fruit juice, white teeth showing as he smiles.
'I love you too, Mister Hibo.'
'If Farsameeye Matthew does not marry you,' he declares,
'then I will.'
Khadija smiles and pats her belly. 'First I have to go and have
Hibo's forehead creases with worry. 'Why must you go?'
Khadija stares, trying not to let him see that she, too, is
afraid. The outside world is a complicated and threatening place.
In Somalia women give birth in their own homes, with the
local midwife brewing her potions and drawing new life with
practised hands. There is no mystery to it. 'Because the shisheeye
in Nairobi,' she says at last, 'have engaged for me a favoured
dhaliye — a midwife who is very skilled.'
Hibo appears to take this information in. 'You have your baby,
Miss Khadija, then bring him back here. I will be a father to him.
I will teach him everything I know. I will ??'
The boy is still talking when one of the little ones comes to sit
on Khadija's lap. The young woman runs one hand through wiry
hair, then kisses the little girl's scalp, loving the fi resmoke smell
'How are you, my precious one?'
'Well, thank you, Miss Khadija.'
'Have you had something to eat?'
'Yes, Miss Khadija.' Her head tilts back and eyes as dark as
eclipsed moons stare up at her. 'You will not stay away for a long
time, will you?'
'No, child, I won't.'
'You will not forget us?'
'How could I forget you? Now, hop off and Farsameeye
Matthew will give you an orange.'
The promise of fruit is enough, and the child slips off Khadija's
knee to the ground, joining the line of clamouring kids shoving
sandwiches into their mouths. Khadija watches the desperate
pace at which they eat, sucking the fruit dry, chewing the pith,
Excerpted from Savage Tide by Greg Baron. Copyright © 2014 Greg Baron. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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