On hearing the news her adopted father has suffered a second heart attack, Shani Bălcescu dashes from St Aquinas College in Oxford to be at his bedside in Prague. Her father asks her forgiveness, but Shani takes his words to be little more than the ramblings of a dying man. Until the following day, when she discovers the name Tuma Dangbo, a former Séroulése president gunned down in a devastating coup in the West African state thirty-eight years ago.
French journalist, Nicolas Dubois, helps Shani make sense of her ancestry, before introducing her to the leader of the Séroulése rebels at a safe house in London. Just as Shani starts to trust and have feelings for the journalist, he sends her a bizarre text and breaks contact. Nicolas’s disappearance threatens to derail her already fragile state of mind, and with an attempted coup in Séroulé virtually underway, ‘friend or foe’ takes on a new meaning for Shani as she questions whether she is being manipulated by the rebels, and that the present despotic regime is about to be replaced by another, only with much greater and far-reaching repercussions.