The Diamond Frontier
The year is 1880. Simon Fonthill and his sidekick, “352” Jenkins, are preparing to leave India and return to England when they receive a plea for help from an old friend, who has been kidnapped and is being held captive in Kimberley, the centre of South Africa’s new Diamond Frontier. It is a plea which both men cannot ignore, and the intrepid pair return to South Africa to rescue her. However colonial politics interferes with their plans. Upon arrival at Durban both men find themselves summoned to the headquarters of Sir Garnet Wolseley. Wolseley is keen to enlist their services as scouts in a forthcoming campaign against the bePedi, a tribe living in the north-eastern part of the Transvaal. It is planned to be a short, decisive campaign against what is acknowledged to be a courageous and well armed foe, as a demonstration of military power for the Boers who are agitating for an independent state. In exchange for horses and rifles Fonthill agrees that he and “352” will act as scouts once they have carried out their rescue mission. Both rescue and military campaign become inextricably linked as Nandi’s captor takes her to the township of the bePedi chief, Sekukuni. Fans of Fonthill will be pleased to know that his old enemy Colonel Covington follows him back to South East Africa, as well as Miss Alice Griffith, who is reporting the campaign for the Morning Post. This is the third book in the series, and fans of Simon Fonthill well know what to expect. If you like Wilbur Smith or Bernard Cornwell, then you will enjoy this novel. This is the second Simon Fonthill novel I have reviewed, and I have become a firm fan.