1980s Afghanistan, invaded by the Soviets, was an awkward place. An altruistic and intrepid team of volunteer surgeons from a British hospital need a trouble-shooter by their side on the ill-defined frontier with Pakistan.
Part One - Foreign Bodies
charts their manoeuvres through the diplomatic barriers. The mostly unflappable Chetwynd makes anecdotes rather than crises out of the drama.
Part Two - The Enemy Within
leads the team in shalwar kameez to the war-torn border to the war-torn border regions, dodging local militia and fields of landmines, ever nearer the front-line casualties. But allied to the threat of largely invisible fighting is a growing awareness that their mission is being thwarted, not by military obstacles, but by an unseen third force - before accidentally stumbling
on the revelation that the party-political cottage hospital where they are operating on war casualties is simultaneously a conduit for Saudi and Kuwaiti middle-class funding for ‘illegal’ fundamentalist political activities, investing long-term in the expectation of re-importing less autocratic Home Rule, either by osmosis or backlash.
Part Three - Conspiracy of Silence
takes Chetwynd out of the clear air of Aghanistan to the unlikely Chancelleries of Bonn where he unearths the documentary evidence he needs. He gets behind the smoke and mirrors which conceal an international fraud: Afghan drug-dealers and gun-runners are co-operating with a fund-raising charity which is defrauding the German Public, the EEC and the US State Department. Millions of dollars, raised for bogus hospital installations which will never be completed, are being siphoned off. Has Chetwynd detected the roots of the new funding of the new terrorism?
Rupert Chetwynd was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards, served with the Guards Parachute Company (Pathfinders) in Egypt and Cyprus and subsequently with Special Forces elsewhere. For many years, he was a specialist consultant to the Boeing Company, visiting Vietnam on their behalf after the fall of Saigon and advising on counter-measures to the hijacking of civilian aircraft. He undertook many assignments under the overall umbrella of Geo-Political Overview.
He has been married twice and, at the time of writing, has seven children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandson. Whenever he can get away with it, he lives for preference in a yurt on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea where he has begun his next book.