Caught in the crossfire of a successful military coup in an emerging African state, Bill Rutherford finds a political stowaway on board his charter aircraft. The stowaway is discovered and Rutherford thrown into jail to await a hideous death for `treachery' to the new regime. General Gawaka, the new dictator, graciously receives the British High Commissioner when he comes to plead for Rutherford's life. Infinitely cunning, he tricks him into recognising the new regime. When oil and gold and discovered, the High Commissioner is delighted to see bright new vistas opening up for British trade. But the reality is starker and infinitely more terrifying. Two American journalists are killed. Rutherford witnesses hideous scenes of genocide. And when a Starjet, gift of the British government, explodes in mid-air killing all on board, the terror that stalks the night walks boldly through the day. Rutherford is caught up in the ultimate blackmail threat and the tension mounts towards a shattering final climax.