In the year 1974 a French lady named Francoise Claustre (1937 – 2006) worked in the African country Chad. She had an experience of many years in this landlocked country. It were heady days in Chad and she noticed it very well for she (and two others) was abducted by rebels.
This gruelling story is at the background of this book by the German writer Von Michalewsky. In his book one of the protagonists is Peter Claussen, a journalist with a German Magazine PRESENT. The magazine gives him the order to organise an abduction of Jeanne Granvalet, who is held captive in Chad by rebels. The Chief of Staff of the rebels is the German Manfred Schramm. Clausssen manages to get together a group of mercenaries under leadership of Karl Tanow, so we are brought back to the days of white mercenaries (or dogs of war, and the books of Frederick Forsyth).
In Morocco the mercenaries get together, with Claussen and a photographer. They meet the two pilots who will join the action. We witness their drop near the village where Granvalet is held captive and the complications. Will they manage to get into touch with her? How strong are the rebels who are keeping her in isolation?
The mercenaries are very experienced and they have looked forward to a piece of action. Their links with Germany are not very strong, they are a kind of free spirit. Do or dare, death or dare? They just move forward, and look at the financial reward. Claussen tries to assert his authority and leadership, but he has no clue as to what to do and how to do it.
The main purpose of the action does not seem to be the abduction and release of Jeanne Granvalet, but more publicity and exposure for the magazine PRESENT. The action will bring a wider readership and more money. midst the socalled nobility in trying to free Granvalet, we see the world of publicity and hard currency.
Nikolai von Michalewsky – Keine Spuren in Sand – 1978