Received a copy of The Madmen of Benghazi by Gérard De Villiers through the First Reads Giveaway program in exchange for an honest review
In 1967 King Idris of Libya has recently been overthrown in a coup d'etat by Muammar Qaddafi in an effort to be head of state. Many people wanted Idris to remain the leader but for over forty years Libya has suffered under the tyrannical rule of Qaddafi since his takeover. At the time Idris' government was losing popularity for being pro-Israeli, exacerbating national divisions and corrupting the country's oil wealth. But the anti-western riots in Tripoli in Benghazi were the key events that put Qaddafi's plan in motion. After forty two years filled with economic downturns, fear-mongering, civil wars, tyranny and oppression; the Libyan people want a change and come to terms with the fact that perhaps a constitutional monarchy wasn't all that bad than initially expected.
In 2011 London, Ibrahim al-Senussi is enjoying his life in exile pulling out all the stops to win the heart of top fashion model Cynthia Mulligan. The British government are notifying him that in a post-revolutionary Libya he could be the next heir to the throne. By planting the seed in al-Senussi's head that the potential for a new Libyan government is great and his position as the new head of state is more reality than it is a pipe dream the British and American governments have the ability to control a country on the brink of global warfare. The CIA along with their "cousins" the MI6 desperately need Ibrahim al-Senussi to be named the new head of state. They don't want an anti-western Islamic caliphate taking control of Libya, ruining their plans, and forcing defensive actions.
Malko Linge is a full time aristocratic playboy living the life as an Austrian prince and part time freelance CIA agent. Lucky for him he gets paid a king's ransom for his services, unlucky for him is that in turn he is awarded the riskiest assignments. He would tell you that his greatest skill is the passion he has for the work, what his superiors would tell you is that he has an innate ability to seduce any living and breathing women. With his lack of combative skills it makes him a realistic figure in a genre that is a proponent of the unbelievable. When he is told by his organizational superior, yet compensatory inferior boss Cairo CIA station chief Jerry Tombstone to report to Cairo for further instructions on his next mission, Malko quickly escapes his Liezen castle and is in flight to his next destination. Unfortunately for Malko his next mission involves a bisexual woman with a current ratio of sexual partners 20 woman : 1 man. At this revelation Malko must be asking himself if there is a God, but he desperately needs her in order to keep track of al-Senussi's engagements.
"The Libyan went down to work out in the gym, but not before making enthusiastic use of her body. Again, this was something that happened every morning, and even though she was bisexual, Cynthia enjoyed it. There was something very exciting about being drilled like an oil well while still half asleep."
After winning the heart of Miss.Mulligan as well as her body which he ravages and penetrates at any free moment, al-Senussi offers her a chance to travel to Cairo where he can communicate with important contacts and she can live like a queen. Given her top-model treatment whereby she is treated like a queen anyway, she reluctantly agrees to go with him even if it is simply for the memento of a stamp on her passport. As they land they're unaware to the fact that a SAM-14 Strela missile from Russia barely missed the plane and that a maniacal man with plenty of backers want him dead.
In 2011, Qatar's plan is for the Emir to set up a strict Islamic regime in Libya utilising the resources of the Muslim Brotherhood but more importantly the psychological motivations of a Takfiri, the most radical kind of Islamist. They found their man in Abu Bukatalla who will be the one that executes the plan. Bukatalla is a leader of about one hundred fanatics and is one of the most dangerous radical Islamist's in Libya. Bukatalla's mission as pretender to the Libyan throne is to manipulate al-Senussi into revealing his closest supporters, eliminate the leader of the Obeidi tribe and to finally kill the heir to the monarchy. They would then apply Sharia law with absolute strictness. Once that became established they could help out their fellow jihadists in their struggle against the hated infidels.
It is quite apparant that during his lifetime Mr.De Villiers had friends in high places. His foresight and his ability to forecast or intuitively anticipate political events was quite amazing. This book was politically-relevant to 2011 Libya without further exaggerations or dramatisations. This book is a short read with fast, high-octane action, hard yet stimulating explicit sexual exploits, with no chance for a soft landing. If you don't mind unique descriptions and comparisons of sexual experiences you may want to steer clear or skim over these sections, but if you like a good espionage story and a salute to a man's inner most dream than I recommend this book.
" 'Just one thing: the young lady has to change her clothes. Otherwise, people will notice her.'
He went to fetch Cynthia. Wearing jeans, a headscarf, and a modest blouse with a high collar, she was almost decent. Though when she walked, she swung her hips in a way unknown in the Quran”