Spy-thriller from local author Mark Abernethy which is set in East Timor in the days leading up to the independence vote.  Very realistic (albeit fictional I hope!) scenario about a plan for mass genocide.  I really like Mark's books because they are pure spy thriller style but they have a very Australian voice, and they are set in places that mean something to us in our own recent history.

From the Blurb:

Aussie super-spy Alan McQueen is pulled out of a deep-cover assignment to find an agent who's missing.  It sounds like a straightforward operation but, as he digs deeper, the man they call 'Mac' discovers a faction of Indonesia's army plotting against the East Timorese.

Opening Lines:

Forty-seven minutes after flying out of Tembagapura, Alan McQueen looked across at the second military helicopter as they descended through the pre-dawn to the vast Lok Kok copper mine.  A blond mercenary to his left unbuckled his seatbelt, stood up and aimed a ceiling-mounted machine-gun out the helo's open door at the lunar despoliation that stretched five kilometres to the rainforest.

Year of Publication

It is August 1999 and the poor, repressed province of Indonesia – East Timor – is building for its chance at independence with the UN-supervised ballot. As the Australian government attempts to stay friendly with both the East Timorese independence movement and the Indonesian generals, Aussie spy Alan McQueen is sent into Dili to discover the whereabouts of Bill Yarrow – an East Timor-based intelligence asset for Australian SIS who has disappeared.

As Mac closes on the truth, and the body-count rises from the pre-independence massacres, he finds himself drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse where the Indonesian military is acting in defiance of its own president. Staying one step ahead of Indonesian intelligence with the aid of the Filipino mercenary Bongo Morales, Mac slowly uncovers a much deadlier medical program that could spell genocide on the troubled island. As he struggles to stop the planned decimation of the East Timorese, he finds that the identity of the atrocity’s perpetrators might be too sensitive for the Australian government to handle.

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Submitted by Karen on Mon, 28/02/2011 - 07:12 pm