Published by William Heinemann Ltd, 1985
The Worm in the Rose
When the heir to a remote sheikhdom in the Gulf is killed in a shooting accident on the estate of his former childhood friend, the politician Timothy Lunt, ex-Fleet Street journalist Anthony Guise is drawn back into a wold of corruption and intrigue. Once his paper's top man in the Third World, Guise retired nine years ago to run his wife Sophia's family farm, but now, restless and unfulfilled, he looks for spiritual renewal through the exercise of old skills and instincts.
Guise's self-appointed assignment takes him from a snowbound shepherd's cottage in the Welsh hills to the parched Arabian hinterland and back down the long tunnel of this own childhood persecution. The answers to the bizarre mystery of the prince's death, he discovers lie buried in ancient enmity between two neighbouring Gulf states, and in the ambitions and obsessions of a group of Western expats: the smooth, ex-State Department diplomat Grover Wilks, adviser to the Khor Shaikhdom; his soigneé lover; and the dedicated tribal officer Billy French, Wilks' opposite number in the Emirate. Uncovering evidence of murder, blackmail, betrayal, and preparations for a bloody couple connived at by Moscow itself, Guise finds himself a fugitive on the run in the tribal highlands. But the greatest danger for him lies back in Britain, in a confrontation with the malevolent figure who dominated his past, and remains to cast a shadow over his future.