Looking for the perfect Christmas gift for the true crime literature fan in your life? Then look no further than local man Robert Stone’s “Chasing Black Gold”.
With the tag line “The incredible true story of a fuel smuggler in Africa”, Chasing Black gold tells the story of a 15-year old Rob Stone, who left his childhood home of Ontario with $50 in his jeans and built up a fortune of $40 million.
25 years later he would walk out of a Lichtenstein jail and fly home to his wife and children in Scotland, he had $50 in his pocket.
Robert now lives in Aboyne and told The Piper his main reason for writing the book was for his children.
He said: “I really wanted them to know the truth about my background and wanted them to understand that some decisions in life have consequences that can haunt you forever.
“What I did continues to affect not only me but those closest to me twenty five years after the fact.
“I hope that the story conveys the remorse that I have for my actions.
“The story may also help others avoid the road I took.”
In 1970 runaway 15-year-old Robert Stone showed up in the Bahamas.
Turning diver and pot-smuggler in a Miami Vice world he made a million before he was 18, then went legit as a pioneer saturation diver in the North Sea.
At 30, after seeing friends die and surviving several close calls, he went to work for himself, mostly on the wrong side of the law.
When his closest friend turned government informant Stone was thrown into a Nigerian jail.
Stone bribed his way to freedom, becoming the quarry in an international manhunt led by a U.S. Organised Crime task force.
After a couple years on the run, he was arrested and jailed in Switzerland and sent to a Federal Penitentiary following extradition.
Chasing Black Gold is a story about the power of money to draw a man into ever-bolder adventurers, to bribe his way to the very top business and government, and, ultimately, to buy his freedom.
The book is the first ever to lift the lid on the brutal and terrifying reality of fuel smuggling in Africa.
It offers a unique insight into crime and corruption within Africa and Will appeal to the many readers of books such as Mr Nice and Outlaws Inc.
The book is widely available in Waterstones and online at Amazon - where it is currently receiving fantastic reviews with all ten customer reviews rating it at five stars out of five.
There are also signed copies available at Deeside Books in Ballater.