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You can't make this stuff up, for sure, if you bother to read the back page articles about small African states ruled by dictators, states very often grown powerful from American and international aid. These are states whose rulers claim to be motivated by wanting economic prosperity and democracy. The truth lies far from the stated ideals and Kyle Mills has captured the essence of the disappearance of governmental and private donor funds into nefarious schemes and dictator hands in this genuinely thrilling novel!
Josh Hogarty is having a tough time finding a job after completing graduate school in engineering. He's got a checkered past that merits an instant rejection from all who check their sources. But after being again refused a coveted interview, he's about to drown his sorrows in a local bar when he is approached by someone actually seeking an interview. The bells of alarm should be clanging but the opportunity to get a job and earn enough to pay for his sister's college degree and pay off his own debt loom larger than concerns for something awry in such a supposedly generous offer.
Invited to New York City for a second interview with the New Africa firm, Josh realizes he is being courted in a way that indicates the job is his for the taking. New Africa is an NGO, an organization dedicated to creating agricultural self-sustaining farms for the poor. It's a charity, to put it quite simply. Since he has nothing but a very troubled family situation, Josh figures this is even better than sitting behind a desk in an un-adventurous job anyway.
Soon enough after Josh lands in hot, steamy Africa and begins to meet the people with whom he will work, he realizes something is wrong and he is expected to quietly accept it all. But the same qualities that got him employed have a surprising twist for his new employers; Josh does have a very active conscience which is about to be sorely tested and severely threatened.
First he meets Gideon, the brother-in-law of Mtiti, the dictatorial President of this African state trying desperately to keep foreign support and keep control over civil warfare between the tribes. Gideon's not very helpful; in fact he's downright hostile. Then there's an older, drunken reporter named Flannary who comes to trust Josh and helps him discover some very unsavory political and financial realities. There's a Norwegian nun-like lady whose altruistic work is refreshingly honest, albeit naive. If the mounting violence and sabotage aren't enough, Josh's sister Laura is facing danger from a scheming step-sister and her boyfriend back in America, a situation being watched by Josh's employers as well.
Behind the scenes are other shady characters and gruesome events that help make these pages turn faster than a spinning top! Kyle Mills is a master of the thriller, who knows how to create a credible, solid story surrounding a tightly plotted adventure.
Lords of Corruption is a terrific read you won't want to miss!!!
Reviewed by Viviane Crystal on March 20, 2009