You’ve seen the fallout from the Panama Papers. Now prepare for the shockwaves caused by a series of secret recordings by Panama’s former dictator. An elite few will do anything to stop their release, but only one woman is capable of finding them.
Two narratives set 30 years apart will take you through the murky underworld of CIA corruption, lies and murder, and into a thrilling chase across the islands and jungles of the Caribbean. This is an action-packed adventure that’s sure to leave you asking the difference between truth and fiction, and if anybody really knows!
Explore the true stories behind the novel below, and read through the excerpts here.
In January 1990 Panama’s dictator travelled to Miami, his wrists handcuffed and his pride dealt a final humiliating blow. But beneath the ashen, hollow eyes of Manuel Noriega’s infamous mug shot were more secrets than his prosecutor, a young Robert Mueller, would ever truly uncover.
Why would the United States invade a small Central American nation, killing thousands of civilians and destroying billions of dollars’ worth of infrastructure, to arrest just one man? After all, this was a man who had long been on the CIA payroll, who had personally lounged with George H. W. Bush, and who had assisted the US in fighting communism in Latin America. What was the real reason for his capture and silencing?
The answer to those questions will never truly be known. Noriega passed away in 2017 in a Panamanian prison, and despite publishing his memoirs through the biographer Peter Eisner, the intricacies of his dealings with the CIA remain an enigma. What is certain is that behind the bars of Miami and French prisons Noriega was not going to release anything classified. For the man who knew too much, jail was by far the most convenient place for him to be. Read the full blog here.
The Reagan administration in the mid-1980s was obsessed – like most of its predecessors – with stopping the scourge of communism. That included the socialist Sandinistas of Nicaragua, who had overthrown US-backed dictator Anastasio Somoza in 1979. Reagan authorised the CIA to support a band of counter-revolutionary guerrillas known as the Contras to bring down the Nicaraguan government. It didn’t matter that these Contras attacked schools, hospitals and other social reform programs introduced by the Sandinistas. Nor did it matter that rape, torture and murder were all used as methods to intimidate their opposition.
These human rights violations did matter, however, to democrat Edward Boland, who proposed ceasing all funding to the Contras by law. The Boland Amendment was signed into law by Reagan in 1982, however the machinations of the CIA continued.
Enter Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, one of the brightest and most resourceful minds of the National Security Council. North managed the marked-up sale of US weapons direct to Iran and used the funds to continue financing the Contras through an elaborate series of shell companies.
He also engaged with Manuel Noriega, negotiating with him a plan for Noriega to assist in assassinating and sabotaging the Sandinista leadership in exchange for North helping him “clean up his image”. While the assassinations never took place, the continuing sordid relationship between North and Noriega is a mysterious story. As is North’s potential complicity in the trafficking of cocaine by Contras to the US in order to further fund their attacks.
When the Iran-Contra scandal was exposed in November 1986 North and his secretary, Fawn Hall, began what many refer to as “the shredding party”. Needless to say that when a congressional investigation was launched to examine the affair, many documents had somehow vanished.
Reagan denied knowledge of the funding of the Contras, and North was eventually convicted of three felony charges in 1989. These charges were then dismissed in 1991 and North went on to establish a career with Fox News and more recently as the president of the NRA. Read the full blog here.