Nigel Ballantyne works for the diamond mining company, WADMINCO. His job is to stop the rampant illegal digging of diamonds which goes on in the WADMINCO lease area. But he finds this is difficult in the pervading political climate.
Some of the illegal miners are financed by a shadowy figure known as Mama Sia. Nigel swears he will close her operations down.
But as the story unfolds we sense that Mama Sia is gaining the upper hand. One of the main mysteries is to her identity. Who or what is she?
From the begining Nigel realizes he is fighting a losing battle against the illegal miners? One of the main reasons is there is a ready market for their diamonds. How do you tell if a diamond has been mined legally or illegally?
Intertwined with some violent events is a romance between Nigel and a Sierra Leonean named Rose Dunway.
The story illustrates how dificult it is, in an economically poor country, to extract diamonds without suffering a high level of criminal activities.