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    Wild ride through a lawless land

    Set in the bloody diamond region of the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Holt has crafted a compelling story of two American ex-special forces soldiers turned mercenaries. They're sent by Mister Zhou, head of a Chinese mining company, to kill renegade African employee Tonde Chiora, who Zhou claims has stolen company secrets. By the time the two mercenaries find Chiora, they realize they've been sent on a fool's errand. Their journey is fraught with the kind of deadly violence that's sadly common in a country where chaos is the norm. The story unfolds via mercenary Stan Mullens, a well-read man who dreams of buying a cattle ranch in Texas. Stan is a beacon of sanity and a moral foil for his uncontrollable partner, Frank. Having personally prowled the mining regions of eastern DRC, I can confirm that Holt deftly captures the often horrific realities there. The book is a skillful and dramatic portrayal of the dark side of diamond business, which diamond dealers refuse to acknowledge. Holt's work has literary overtones of the classic, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, as well as Joseph Conrad's The Heart of Darkness. While it's not for the faint of heart, it's a highly satisfying and wild ride through lawless land. An unforgettable tale that's hard to put down.

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