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Synopsis

Set in South Africa of the early 1990s, this military thriller has fascist ultraconservative Afrikaners staging a coup and taking over the Pretoria government. The new government then re-institutes apartheid and invades bordering Namibia. A Communist counterforce led by the Cubans is mounted, as internal revolt and harsh suppression breed domestic chaos. A Boer nuclear attack on the Cubans is answered by nerve gas from the Cubans. A daring raid by US Rangers destroys the Afrikaner weapons before they can be used again, while U.S. and British ground forces restore order after much fighting and destruction.


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– W.E.B Griffin, Bestselling author of “Battleground”.

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Vortex
Average rating
4.5 / 5
A well crafted 'alternate history'
November 8th, 2014
Set in the early 1990s, Vortex outlines a road that South Africa might have taken had diehard Apartheid leaders been in power rather than Mandela. Through both its main characters and various snapshots, the novel outlines the Afrikaners' seizure of power, followed by both internal fighting and external wars against a Cuban-led alliance of socialist factions and eventually an Anglo-American intervention force. Ethnic cleansing by both whites and blacks, South Africa's nuclear bombs, and Cuba's chemical weapons add to the carnage infected by 'mere' conventional weapons. The novel is fairly long but fast-paced, and hits the right balance between details and brevity with each part of the plot. The characters are a mix of decision-makers in Washington and Pretoria, military officers from Cuba, America and South Africa, journalists, and various soldiers, guerrillas and civilians caught in one war or another. Vortex is not great literature, and some left-wing readers would find it too annoyingly pro-American or anti-socialist. It is nonetheless a fascinating and at times chilling view of how South Africa might have turned out after the Cold War.
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