Windfall

Desmond Bagley - Windfall 1982 - Cover artist: Donald MacPherson © HarperCollins Publishers.

Windfall was published in 1982 with a cover design by Donald McPherson.

‘Jan Willem Hendrykxx’s legacy amounted to a staggering £40 million; £34 million to go to an agricultural college in Kenya’s Rift Valley, and the remaining £6 million to be divided equally between the mysterious benefactor’s only discoverable living descendants: Dirk Hendriks, a South African, and Henry Hendrix, a young drop-out living in California.

Max Stafford, head of Stafford Security Consultants in London, gets involved in the ensuing events for two reasons: one is that Dirk Hendriks happens to be the husband of a dear friend; the other is the sudden appearance in London of Ben Hardin, an American detective, whose account of his assignment to track down Henry Hendrix and deliver him to his recent employer arouses Stafford’s suspicion. The trail leads to Kenya and the obscure agricultural college at Ol Njorowa which had benefitted from old Hendrykxx’s millions. What is the source of those millions? Why should there be a clause in the will stipulating that Dirk Hendriks must spend one month of every year in Kenya? And what nefarious swindle is Hardin’s old boss trying to bring off by coming to Nairobi? What seems at first a matter of simple greed gradually assumes sinister and alarming proportions.

Desmond Bagley has written another of his inimitable thrillers, but he has also produced a thoughtful novel of present-day Kenya; a novel of insight and humour that explores the intricate inter-relationships of the Africans, Asians and Europeans who live and work there, and share a common love of their country.’

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Images and first edition blurb © & courtesy of HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

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