South West author Chris Marrow has written his first book entitled The Hoe and the Gun.

A gripping and fast-paced thriller set in southern Africa and based on many real plots, personalities, and especially his roller-coaster life – living and working in Mozambique and Malawi for many years.

Chris Marrow’s book captures the geopolitical grasp of the period, and his story-telling is ‘sophisticated and spellbinding’.

The Hoe and the Gun, was two years in the making and based on many real events and will leave readers guessing what is real, and what is fiction. The book asks some very interesting questions.

The title of the book is inspired by the national flag of Mozambique, says Mr Marrow.

A heart-stopping thriller that is a race-against-time where two hitmen are chasing through remote areas of Mozambique after an aid worker who witnessed a massive theft of food aid.

They need to find and capture, or kill him before the truth will out.

Whatever happens, he must not fall into the wrong hands because his life is at risk, and he must get the word out to the outside world…

The Somerset-based author says in his own words ‘I’ve led an extraordinary life’, and the influence of growing up along the North Cornish coast set the scene for my love affair with the sea, and a deep hankering to work and travel across the world. I started as a deck officer on refrigerated cargo ships and then went on to found a new concept of ferry services in the Northern Isles.

Chris Marrow was the inspiration and driving force behind a massive humanitarian effort to supply food to hundreds of thousands of people sheltering on off-shore islands in Mozambique in the early 1990s, says the ex-Chief Executive of ActionAid International Roland Hodson.

Mr Hodson, added: “People were fleeing for their lives and driven out of villages and their homes in a bloody civil war fought in the country from 1972-1992. Chris is a visionary and a tireless individual in making his visions come to life,” he said.

Mr Marrow, said: “I was spun into action and organised the use of two former military landing craft, one of which I sailed across the Indian Ocean with some of my family. We moved food aid from large ships bringing famine relief to redistribute to island and coastal locations where it was needed.”

“I was in charge of the operation and coordinated and coached local people in vital maritime skills. When the war was over, I founded a charity to work with waterborne transport for aid, development and relief and this took me to numerous remote corners of the world.”

In 1996, Chris undertook the first expedition in 20 years to travel by river from Malawi to the Indian Ocean and back by the Shire and Zambezi rivers and remains one of the only people alive to have done this. The expedition led to him being asked to do a study into the privatisation of the shipping company on Lake Malawi, and he subsequently took the company over from the Government and ran it as a private enterprise on behalf of Malawian interests, he said.

Chris went back to Mozambique in the great floods of 2000 and led teams from the RNLI and Fire Service up the River Buzi with a French medical team to do medical evaluations, and he speaks Portuguese and French. A heart-warming chance reunion during this visit is included in the book.

“I’m now 77 years of age, but I still lead a very active life working on economic and marine issues on the Advisory Board of the South West Business Council. I still promote links with Africa as well as developing new links with China and the far east.”

Chris is a double world record holder on the Concept 2 Rower for both the small team and large team of over 70s rowing 100 kms.

Anyone looking for more details about purchasing the book can view on a designated website for the Hoe and the Gun: http://www.hoeandgun.com

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