This scheme has flair! This scheme is Napoleonic!' roars Flynn Patrick O'Flynn, with characteristic enthusiasm. The year is 1912. The place East Africa. The action – ivory-poaching deep in the German-occupied delta of the steaming Rufiji river.
But Flynn, elephant-hunter and hounder of Germans, likes to enjoy the spoils of his sport without too much effort and the arrival of rich young Sebastian Oldsmith is a windfall he cannot resist.
Before he can gather his fuddled wits, Sebastian is plunged not merely into an ivory-hunt but a murderous game of hide-and-seek with Flynn's outraged and much-taunted enemy, the gross, sausage-eating German Commissioner, Herman Fleischer.
1914 – and war is declared with Germany. At last Fleischer has carte blanche to avenge years of hurt pride. In a single action of devastating brutality, the gay racketeering becomes a chilling war of personal vendetta, as Flynn sets out with Sebastian and Flynn's daughter Rosa, to take their revenge – and join the hunt for the German warship, Blьcher.
From jaunty start to grim finale, Shout at the Devil moves with all the ebullience and power of the brilliant, incorrigible, gin-drinking, old brigand that is its central character.
Hilarious comedy gives way to spine-chilling horror at the climax of the novel, as Flynn, Sebastian and Rosa come to learn that death and violence are no longer a grotesque joke – but a savage reality.