This is an extraordinary story that needed to be told. The events this book records happened some fifty years ago in a world very different from today’s, when the Cold War was at its height. British influence across the globe was in decline – Suez was a recent humiliation – but in South Arabia the British still had responsibility for a protectorate comprising a number of small states known as the South Arabian Federation. One of these states, Aden, had been under British control since 1838. By the 1960s it had little to offer; the duty-free port, once an important coaling station serving vessels going to and from India, attracted ever fewer ships. It shared a troubled border with Yemen.
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'Typical of Dickens to leave us with an unsolvable game of Cluedo. Was it John Jasper with the necktie in the cathedral, Stony Durdles with the fibula in the graveyard or Mrs Crisparkle with the arsenic in the close?'
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