Sunday, December 11, 2011

Black Pawn-Michael Gerhardt

Black Pawn

Michael Gerhardt

Lulu, Nov 20 2011, $19.95

ISBN: 9781257975686

In April 1980 Liberia Sister Marie Claude runs the St. Antony’s Orphanage filled with many Bassa children. Sister Marie knows she has come a long way from her Brussels home, but feels she is doing God’s work helping these displaced kids. Kru tribesmen arrive and open fire killing children and Sister Marie.

In 2013 at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Judge Klaus Pfand assigns the Investigator’s Branch to look into the 1980 Liberian massacre seeking those who financed the bloody coup against the brutal Americo-Liberians regime. Chief Investigator Mauston knows this is a futile assignment, but has no choice as the judges choose the mission. Marstan heard Pfand’s sister was raped and murdered while working at an orphanage in 1980; so he concludes this one is personal. Marstan selects Dominique Perdu as the World Court’s special field investigator. Domi knows with Taylor having been tried no one in the international community will care about her probe, but she has a personal stake in what happened in 1980. In Monrovia and the tribal villages, Domi uncovers the causes behind the historical violence between tribes. However, she miscalculates that no one will care; as the vigililant CIA is on alert observing her progress; their mantra is the truth will set you dead.

Black pawn is refreshing unique tale that uses a thriller storyline to tell the tragic history of Liberia with a focus on the 1980s and 1990s. Fast-paced, readers except those non-apologist super-patriots quoting Stephen Decatur’s “Our Country! In her intercourse with foreign nations may she always be in the right; but right or wrong, our country!” will appreciate Michael Gerhardt’s exhilarating insightful thriller as Liberia is the prime character.

Harriet Klausner

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