On an odyssey to join the revolution in Cuba - ten years after it ended - a gang of brutal jungle bandits see television for the first time. Their leader, Father Gerard Limerick falls in love with the beautiful soap actress, Magdalena. Recovering after being badly wounded in a battle with the army, he becomes convinced he’s been resurrected in order to save her from the soap’s evil Senor Gonzales, and becomes determined to make her his wife.
To indulge his quixotic delusion, the bandits travel to a film camp deep in the jungle, holding the cast and crew hostage while they await the arrival of the actor playing Senor Gonzales.
Meanwhile, Limerick’s disenchanted son, Rico yearns for a life beyond this picaresque absurdity. Unable to be with a prostitute he loved, or to save a farmer’s wife from the men, Rico becomes desperate to save Magdalena from his crazy father and his psychotic family of bandits; even if it means crossing the most frightening man in the world.
Warlord, ‘General’ Jimmy September believes he is a great soldier and teacher, destined to lead his people to a better future. In order to fund an upcoming war, he kidnaps five multi-national aid workers from a refugee camp in West Africa.
When the governments of the nationals involved refuse to pay a ransom, Mark Samuel, finance director and father to one of the hostages, misappropriates three million sterling of company funds to secure his son’s release.
As he battles his way through a hostile environment and unhelpful officialdom, struggling to hold on to the money long enough to save his son, Mark Samuel discovers a reason to succeed more important than securing his own future.
For many, Heng Souk is a hero, to others he is a criminal. Yet Souk sees himself as neither, merely a man seeking to balance what he once was, with what he now is. When the daughter of his estranged brother arrives, with her comes the possibility of atonement.
Sun has come to tell him of the death of her father, and to give him a package. Her frail uncle is a very different man from family legend. Yet when she discovers the notebook of an American POW, detailing his torturous relationship with his captor, she is startled by what she learns.
Meanwhile, Thomas Allen, still reeling from the death of his daughter, learns that the man he called Dad was not his biological father. The tragically unresolved love story his mother tells him, prompts Thomas to find out why her ‘greatest love’ never returned to her after the Vietnam War.
His search leads him to the notorious prison ‘the Citadel’, and to Sun and her uncle. Despite the hostility of her family, Sun and Thomas begin a perilous relationship. Aware that the fate of Thomas’ father is revealed in the notebook, she is torn between helping Thomas, and the damaging affect the notebook’s revelations will have on all of them.
Promising musician Joe McQueen is in a coma. What or who put him there is uncertain. But lonely and elderly film star Walter Johns sets out to discover who of the many people his new friend has angered in recent weeks might have wanted him dead. Unfortunately, with all of Joe’s band-mates, the notorious local gangster father of his girlfriend, and the ex-soldier son of his dead neighbour, among the suspects, Walter is beginning to think the task is beyond his amateur sleuthing.
Joe himself is less bothered by whodunit, and much more concerned with the seeming lack of resolution for his relationship with girlfriend/ex-girlfriend Kimberley, and with the fact that fresh love interest, Nola Summers, is apparently blaming him for the suicide of her father. Two more suspects for an event that most people are claiming was an accident.
However, Joe’s main pre-occupation is with the novelty of his conscious unconsciousness, and with the way his bedside visitors, and his own reflections, are beginning to make him believe that the best thing for him would be to stay within the sanctuary of his coma, and rail against the world from the other side of consciousness.
In 1994, nine year old Effie and her twelve year old brother Ajan, endure the horrors of life in the besieged city of Sarajevo after the loss of their parents. Desperate to help preserve their city, Ajan becomes involved with a criminal gang among the makeshift defenders. When Effie is forced to flee alone, she must survive long enough to reach those outside of the city who have come to help. But the influence of those pursuing her is such that not even the soldiers of the UN might be able to save her. Any hope of a future for Effie eventually lies with only one man, Captain Nathan Lane.
It is 2017, and an attempt is made on the life of Foreign Secretary, Caroline Hardy. As the Security Services hunt for her attacker, the reality she is only a bit part player in the affair doesn’t occur to anyone. Not until her daughter, Mia goes missing and is implicated in the disappearance of a well-connected lawyer. As the focus switches to Mia, a secret that Caroline has kept hidden for a long time threatens them both, until there becomes only one place she can turn, to the man who shares her secret.
In 1973 Chile, as General Augusto Pinochet seizes power, thirteen-year-old English schoolboy Charlie Norton watches his father walk into the night and never return. Taken in by diplomat, Tomas Abrego, his life becomes intricately linked to the family.
Despite his love for the Abrego sisters, he’s unable to prevent Maria falling under the spell of a left-wing revolutionary, or Sophia from marrying the right-wing Minister of Justice.
His connection to the family is complicated by the growing impression that Tomas Abrego was somehow involved in his father’s disappearance.
As the conflict of a family divided by politics comes to a head on the night of the 1989 student riots, Charlie has to act to save the sisters from an enemy they cannot see.