Bruno Salvador is an interpreter of Swahili and other African languages such as Kinyarwanda, the language of Rwanda, and Shi, the language of the eastern Congo. He is fluent in French and English as well, and works for large corporations, law firms, and hospitals, and also for the British Secret Service. He is a British citizen now, but was actually born in the eastern Congo, to a Congolese woman and an Irish missionary priest. He never knew his mother, and his father has since died also. Bruno was educated in a secret school for sons of priests who had 'erred'. Here Father Michael became his mentor, and, it appears, his sometime lover as well.
Bruno has been married to Penelope, a wealthy white journalist for several years. But this marriage is pretty much over now, and Bruno has met a Congolese nurse with whom he is very much in love.
The British Secret Service has now assigned Bruno to be the interpreter in an important meeting between Congolese warlords and a syndicate of Western financiers. Bruno is given a new name, Brian Sinclair, and is transported to an island somewhere in the English Channel. He is excited and very eager to help, especially if it means helping the Congolese people, and especially now, too, since he has met Hannah, his Congolese lover. But he is very naive.
None of the people involved in this meeting are clean, and he soon realizes that in wanting to democratize the country, the Westerners are trying to get the Congolese warlords to sign a contract that will allow the Syndicate to get control of the Congo. This would involve a coup and fighting. Bruno cannot believe these Congolese big shots will actually betray their own people. He is able to steal some tapes that he shouldn't have access to. These tapes give the evidence of what is going on and when the coup will occur. When he gets back to England, he goes to present these tapes to a friend who he believes will have influence to prevent the coup. Unfortunately, Bruno finds that even his friends are in on the scheme.
Meanwhile, he has told Hannah all about the situation. She tries to help him, but they are both in danger now. What they were both hoping for was to get to Hannah's young son, Noah, who is still in the Congo with Hannah's aunt. Hannah wants to introduce Bruno to Noah as his new daddy. But will they get out of London safely?
This report prepared by Tena van't Foort