“Diamonds are a girls best friend.” This is a saying that has gone worldwide. This book is about diamonds, but most of the characters in this book are men.
The writer Jef Geeraerts (1930 – 2015) was a Belgium writer, who worked for some years, during the fifties, as a colonial servant in the former Belgian colony Congo. He wrote quite a number of books that are related to his days in that part of the continent.
In this book Diamant (Diamond) there is also the Congo-connection. The book starts and ends in Congo. Geeraerts did research into the diamond world. He was born in Antwerp and this town is one of the most important hubs in the trade of and perfection of diamonds. In this book we travel from Congo to Bruxelles and Antwerp and New York (another diamond hub) and Hong Kong. We meet with diamond diggers in Congo, diamond traders and government officials from the Zaïran embassy in Bruxelles and the policeforce in Belgium.
A very big and exceptional diamand (211 carat) is being found in a little known diamond area in Congo. The small community decides to send one of their own to Bruxelles to make as much money as possible.. This man Kalondo has to keep away the goal of his mission from the secret service, that is present everywhere. He gets to Bruxelles, makes contact with one of the important diamond workers in the trade and the game is on its way.
Geeraerts was a good crime writer. He shows it in this book, for the book has been meticiously researched and written. The story starts on August 25, 1982 (5.40 a.m.) and ends on November 3, (Wednesday, 5.45 a.m.). In this period of just over two months Geeraerts takes us step by step and minute by minute from one angle to another. He informs us, he withholds information, he obscures so we might wonder whom he is writing about, and even this obscurity is clear. And it all fits together.
This book shows the deep urge of so many people to get more in life, more wealth. Their previous ideas about an honest life is being swept away when a lucrative opportunity passes by. But where does greed end? More greed is needed to keep up the pace of accumulation of wealth.
It is a very good book. I do not know if this book has been translated into French, or English for that matter. It deserves a good translation.
Jef Geeraerts – Diamand – 1982