This searing account primarily covers Ed Bird’s Special Branch (SB) service in the Beitbridge area of southern Matabeleland, 1976-1980, encompassing Operations Repulse and Tangent of the bitter Rhodesian ‘bush war’.
Joining the British South Africa Police (BSAP) in 1964, Bird cut his teeth on Selous Scouts ‘pseudo’ operations during Operation Hurricane in 1974-1976, so was well equipped to deal with the insidious escalation of the ZANLA and ZIPRA campaigns in the south of the country.
A meticulous recorder, Bird implemented and maintained the Beitbridge SB incident log, and it is this diary of terror and death upon which Bird’s account hangs, interspersed with detailed accounts of fire fights, ambushes, landmine blasts, ZANLA executions, traitors and assassinations, SB ‘dirty tricks’ and ‘turning’ terrorists.
Although first and foremost an intelligence-gatherer, Bird thrived on combat and against all protocol inveigled his way onto Fire Force operations and as an air mobile MAG machine-gunner on converted Police Reserve Air Wing aircraft. Decorated for bravery but overlooked for promotion, Bird’s BSAP career became victim to spurious political expedience.
Following the untimely death of his wife, Hilton Shire, a newly appointed private investigator, embarks on a quest for revenge. He enlists the help of his brothers-in-law, Jordan and Kyle to prove that Sabrina was murdered. Hilton and his comrades believe that Sabrina was killed because of her investigation into the demise of Julie Curl’s husband years before. They also believe that Sabrina was drawing close – too close – to the truth hence she met with unmitigated violence.
The case unfurls to something more sinister and complex as the investigators find themselves taken as far away as Barbados and into dangerous situations they never thought possible. Will Hilton get to the bottom of the mystery and avenge his wife before more killings take place? In this brilliantly orchestrated novel, E.D. Bird takes readers on a relentless cat and mouse chase across the unforgettable southern African nations and Barbados.
The unfolding adventure is menacing, perilous, intriguing and, in the end, it could possibly be Bitter Sweet…
E.D. Bird was born in Scotland on March 17, 1955, but has lived in Zimbabwe since 1957. The author was divorced in 1987 but remarried the same person on the 20th anniversary of their original wedding date and continue to live happily in Bulawayo with their two rescue dogs. E.D. Bird is an animal lover and, over the years, has had a variety of pets including horses, dogs and cats.
Bird has worked for a law firm for 13 years and also joined the family business, a gold mining enterprise. Growing up in a rural mining environment and working in the mining industry has given the author a sound basis for the situations created in this novel.”