An old-school Southerner is recruited to run a political campaign in a dangerous African election. Clinton Shartelle doesn't seem like a good choice to run a political campaign in Albertia. For one thing, he's American, and Albertia is a small coastal republic in Africa, about to be cut loose from the English Crown. For another, Shartelle is Southern and fiercely proud of it, and his ideas about racial politics veer unpredictably from progressive to rigidly old-fashioned. But Shartelle is the best, and the political future of Albertia is too important to be left to anyone else. If history is any indication, this first fair election will probably be the country's last. Rich natural resources make it attractive to businessmen on both sides of the Atlantic, opening Albertia up to political corruption. For his part, Shartelle is hired to make sure that a British industrialist's favored candidate wins the presidency. But the opposition is backed by the CIA, for whom murder is just another political tool.