Hidden Agenda

June Drummond, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-575-05629-9
Little is as it seems in this quietly gripping slice of modern South African life. Progressive white lawyer Neil Scallan is convinced that the leader of the hit squad that killed his son David years ago is still alive. The police think otherwise but allow Neil to pursue his probing. Then Thulani, a young Zulu assistant to another of Neil's sons, Todd, a botanist, is killed, apparently a victim of tribal warfare--but here, too, appearances deceive. Meanwhile, the seemingly solid Scallan family is in shambles: Neil's wife, Meg, barely controls her neuroses by focusing on a shallow domesticity; his mistress, Anna, claims that Meg is eating Neil alive and declares that ``I don't intend to be eaten with you''; his eldest son betrays the family ideals by fighting for the status quo as a Washington lobbyist; and Todd is resolutely apolitical until Thulani's murder moves him to buy a gun. The truth behind the killings--involving a gun-running scheme--is revealed at the climax, which resolves on a note both bleak and hopeful: ``the terrible years of desolation that so nearly destroyed us all, those at least are over.'' (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 05/30/1994
Release date: 06/01/1994
Paperback - 309 pages - 978-1-85389-515-9
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