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- DescriptionThree Stars above Luanda is a human rights political thriller set in Angola's capital city. For some time it had been thought that Jonas Savimbi, a cold warrior blessed by President Reagan for his rebellion against the communist government, would follow through on the peace agreement brokered by UN Representative Maitre Beye. But that was t to be, and in the second half of 1998, after he resumed the civil war, it was thought that he just might send his guerillas into Luanda. Security forces were on full alert. While the historical setting is accurate eugh, the story itself is pure fiction. A well kwn reporter is murdered by car thieves, and Matt Sheridan, a Human Rights Officer with the United Nations Peacekeeping Mission smells a rat given the state apparatus of repression. He also sees this as an opportunity to give visibility to human rights issues, since the all pervasive abuse is t mentioned in any media except for the Catholic radio. Partnered by two human rights activists, Benedetta Lincolonha, a Professor and lawyer at the Catholic Law School and Angelo, a Catholic priest, the investigation of the facts highlights many questions that call for further investigations. Their progress however is being closely followed by General Bernardo, chief of the secret service. He ordered the journalist assassinated, and had previously tapped Angelo's house because the priest was a public critic of police abuse of street kids for whom he runs a training center. The case is further complicated when the police arrest three car thieves (at the General's request, since he wants to put an end to the investigations, and all suspicions that the secret service might be involved). When the thieves are displayed triumphantly on television, one of them in a coffin, Matt realizes that the so-called leader is far too young to be the man described to him previously by witnesses at the scene of the crime. Some days later a newspaper reports that the thieves were tortured into confessing to the murder. The three rights activists are w convinced that they are on to a hot case that will garner traction in the media if exposed. They are determined to show that the secret service is involved in the murder of the reporter, and the arrest of three incent men. Benedetta decides to defend the robbers in court, where the full story will be argued before a judge plus the media for the whole world to see. However General Bernardo has other ideas, and hopes to lead them into a blind alley. In October 2001 Matt gets a whiff of an even bigger story. The government's army is reported to have engaged in a scorched earth policy after a Provincial battle with Savimbi's army. The guerilla's defeated, the army drove the wretched villagers from that entire region into camps where the international community of NGO's and the UN had to take care of them. Could this be a military strategy designed to take the water from the fish, to starve Savimbi of his support, fresh recruits and food supplies? General Bernardo realizes that his own future is w in danger, and he goes for the kill.
- Author BiographyI grew up in the ancient city of Kilkenny, Ireland, and like the Kilkenny cats as we are called, I have had many lives. I became a Catholic priest, worked for ten years in Brazilian shantytowns during the period of military dictatorship, and discovered the importance of human rights. See my YA novel, Shantytown. I moved to New York, and taught sociological theory and the sociology of religion in the City University of New York. I edited and introduced a book of theoretical essays by my deceased friend, Emil Oestereicher, Thinking, Feeling and Doing, wrote articles on religious developments in South America's Catholic Church, and on the resurgence of evangelical religion in the US. I also promoted human rights with a member of Jimmy Carter's State Department, and organized the New York Forum on Brazil 1978/79. I translated Leonardo Boff's Jesus Christ Liberator from Portuguese into English. In January 1992, I went on a UN Peacekeeping Mission to promote human rights in Cambodia, then South Africa, and on to Angola where I retired in 2003 as Deputy Director of the Human Rights Division after the civil war ended. See my fictional human rights thriller, Three Stars Above Luanda. In this period I also published humorous short stories for children and wrote human rights plays for TV, radio, which were staged in the National Theater. In Florida I have written and directed two plays, so the cat has had yet another life in retirement. While I always had the ability to see the funny and ironic side of things, I dedicated my life to rather serious stuff, successful or not, I have to agree with the aphorism: hard work never killed anyone, even if it did not make much money for me. I hope readers enjoy my work even if it has a serious side to it. I am happily married, and have two wonderful children. Yet another life!
- Author(s)Patrick Hughes
- Date of Publication18/01/2012
- FormatPaperback / softback
- SubjectCrime, Thriller & Adventure
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight163 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine6 mm
- Format DetailsTrade paperback (US),Unsewn / adhesive bound
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