Michael Vaux is a man in dire need of a vacation. He recently survived an assassination attempt at the hands of a former lover. He also successfully emerged from a thorough investigation into loyalty to his own country. As he begins his convalescence, MI6 has entirely different plans for Michael. The intelligence agency has heard rumblings of a possible military coup set to occur in Egypt. The higher-ups at MI6 believe Vaux can utilize his contacts as a journalist and his charm to unearth more details about this plot. They decide to book passage for him and his paramour Anne to sail down the Nile River on a pleasure cruise, yet don’t tip their hand as to their ulterior motive.
Zaki Khalid is a lieutenant in the Egyptian Army who is viewing the government’s machinations with a discerning eye. Egypt has seen its share of volatility since the Arab Spring overthrow of Hosni Mubarak. Recent meetings with higher-ups in the army confirm his suspicions that a rebellion is imminent. He is soon approached by a man who is an intelligence asset for the British. Khalid’s proximity to the inner circle of the plot may prove vital to disrupting it.
The cruise soon begins with Vaux and his lady Anne on board along with various members of the Egyptian Army, including Khalid. Time is of the essence for the British to stop the coup and preserve order.
Treachery on the Nile excels as a modern take on the timeless tradecraft of espionage. The murky and often amoral world of the intelligence agent has been written about by legends from Graham Greene to John Le Carre. Author Roger Croft admirably continues in the footsteps of his predecessors by writing a highly readable story where a spy’s work never ends, but merely evolves. Michael Vaux is a good man, weary of the inherent backstabbing that goes along with working for MI6, but his dogged loyalty to his country prohibits him from walking away.
Croft skillfully relays the ins and outs of gathering intelligence, from surveillance to recruiting a source. Croft’s ability to tackle a familiar topic and make it refreshing and readable is apparent with his latest effort. The days of the Cold War are long gone, but the great game is still being played by familiar parties. The spy game has shifted to Africa and one country’s destabilization could trigger a domino effect. Croft(“The Algerian Hoax) has written a clever and interesting work about never-ending global intrigue.