The Devil's Oasis
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BARTLE BULL Author of the White Rhino Hotel and A Café on the Nile Continuing the epic African adventures of the characters memorably cast in The White Rhino Hotel and A Cafe on the Nile. All the treacherous intrigue of cosmopolitan Cairo and fiery drama of Rommel's desert war in Africa come vibrantly to life in this novel of historical adventure and romance. It is 1942, and civilization as the world knows it teeters on its edge. Nazi Germany stands at the height of its power. In North Africa the brilliant General Rommel's panzers threaten the Suez Canal, the oil fields of the Middle East, and the trade route to Asia. To win Egypt, though, Rommel must first take the port of Tobruk and destroy the British fortress of Bir Hakeim. There, against the massive force of Rommel's Afrika Korps, a young English hussar named Wellington Rider fights beside the French Foreign Legion. Rider's father, Anton—the professional hunter who strides so dynamically through A Cafe on the Nile—is now a desert commando engaged in obliterating Nazi air bases and petrol dumps. Not only has Anton's old friend Ernst von Decken, a German soldier of fortune, meanwhile become the enemy, but also Anton's estranged wife has entered into an affair with a Frenchman who supports Rommel's campaign. Alliances shift, loyalties deceive, espionage thrives, and danger lies as much in the dark corners of Cairo as it does in the desert night. And at a barge on the Nile, at the Cataract Cafe, under the watchful eye of its proprietor, the enigmatic Goan dwarf Olivio Alavedo, Egypt frames its destiny. “Romantic and eventful . . . a satisfying dose of wartime action, private revenge, and seething passion.” —Richard Bernstein, The New York Times “A World War II page-turner that’s part Masterpiece Theater, part Raiders of the Lost Ark, part Casablanca.” —The Washington Post