“Levin flicked several slides and showed them several empty pages.
‘So, Dan Witszel went to Nigeria with an empty diary I suppose?’ Fruggert said. He was almost sneering.
‘Not at all,’ replied Levin again. ‘He went to Nigeria with the codes of the grandest design of any rig ever made.”
In 1967, a British freelance war correspondent, Dan Witszel, was contracted by the London office of Associated Press to cover the Nigerian civil war from the Biafran side. Dan Witszel came to Nigeria with a special handmade black vinyl diary with brown suede edges which had been bequeathed to him by his uncle, Greg Witszel.
What Dan didn’t know was that his diary had embedded within it, a coded empirical formula on the most sophisticated oil rig ever designed. A rig that could drill oil from any surface without any spillage.
About four months after he got to Nigeria, Dan Witszel was reported killed after being held captive by Biafran soldiers under Major Ifeajuna’s command.
Major Emmanuel Ifeajuana, the Commonwealth champion in the high jump event of the 1956 games in Vancouver and Nigeria’s first ever gold medallist was famous for his lead role in the January 15th, 1966 violent coup in Nigeria.
About the same time Dan Witszel was ‘supposedly’ killed, Major ifeajuna wrote a controversial account of the January 15 1966 coup in an unpublished manuscript which would later be popularly known as the Ifeajuna manuscript.
Forty years later, a renowned Nigerian writer, would ignite the interest of the big wigs in the international oil business when he describes Dan Witszel’s diary as the material with which Major ifeajuna wrote his manuscript.
And so begins a whirlwind search for the Ifeajuna manuscript. A search that spans many cities and nations, from London to Enugu-Nigeria, to Virginia-USA, Accra, Lagos, Abuja, Abia, involving international agencies such as the CIA, M16, and the Chinese Secret Service.
Demola Adeniran has described this literary work of his as a ‘factional’ piece. A fusion of the word fact and fiction.
Major Emmanuel Arinze Ifeajuna is regarded in certain circles as the overall leader of the plotters of the January 15 1966 coup.And yes, he did write a manuscript which till this day is reported missing.
This is Fact!
Was there any oil rig embedded in the missing Ifeajuna manuscript?
This is where the writers imagination comes in.
I absolutely love how Demola Adeniran successfully blended facts and fiction into this beautiful crime thriller.
Action packed and fast paced, the story line unfolds, one clue building on another, so the reader can connect most pieces of the puzzle. There were two major twists I didn’t see coming(no spoilers here) that added some jaw-dropping edge to this novel.
There are only two negatives this book has in my opinion.
1) There were too many characters and it became something of a chore to keep up with them,
2) The ending leaves the readers with so many questions rather than answers.
It is stated that this is the first book in a trilogy, so hopefully, the other two books in this trilogy will answer the questions.
Bonus: It is obvious that Demola Adeniran is an avid reader and a lover of history. He name dropped quite a few literary gems about that period(1966-1970) in time. Books like: There Was A Country by Chinua Achebe and Why We Struck by Adewale Ademoyega.
So if you are a lover of history and books, there’s a whole reading list in this book! How cute is that?
If you are in the mood for an action packed crime fiction that is principally set in Nigeria, then this should be a great pick.
For me, it’s a ⭐⭐⭐
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