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Customer Review

13 April 2016
Michela Wrong is a journalist who has written some lively and informative books about the recent history of the Congo, Kenya and Eritrea. In this book she takes the border conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia as the basis for a fictional account of how Paula Shackleton, a British lawyer working in the USA, is recruited to help prepare the case for the small state of North Darrar (Eritrea) against its larger neighbour Darrar (Ethiopia) to be presented before an international arbitration tribunal sitting at The Hague. She travels to Lira (Asmara) and begins work. As she collects the evidence necessary to show that North Darrar's case is correct she learns much about the way its government controls every aspect of life there and we learn much (in flashback) about the unhappy end to the relationship with her American lover that led her to accept the job. In the end the Tribunal rules in favour of North Darrar /Eritrea on the line of the border, as it did in real life, but there is a sting in the tail of its decision as well as an incident in which she finds and crosses her own personal borderlines and which brings her involvement with North Darrar to an end. This is an entertaining book which is not short on suspense and which is likely to appeal particularly to those readers interested in this part of the world.
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4.5 out of 5 stars