When I received this book from the early reviewers at LibraryThing, I thought it might be similar to "The Honorary Consul" By Graham Greene.
Alex Baines was a rising star in the state department. However, he witnessed a massacre in Darfur and this seemed to change him.
He needed something but didn't know where to start. Then, his mentor contacts him and asks him to be part of his staff at the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa. Alex jumps at the opportunity.
One of his first tasks is to be the intermediary between a militarist and the U.S. State Department. The military man kidnapped a number of US citizens and was holding them for ransom.
Alex has met Marie Tsiolo, the daughter of a village chief in the Congo. He is asked to be the go-between between her village and a US mining company that wants to drill a mine in that area. He sees the idyllic life in the village and the beauty of its setting by a river. He's not sure if his main duty is to the people in the village or the U.S. interests.
This book got better and better as I read, nervously turning the pages as the political climate escalates.
The conclusion of the novel was excellent. Compared to my memory of Greene's "The Honorary Consul," I thought that the character development and suspense was much better in this novel.