I'd like help in identifying a novel based on the following details:
Novel length: Paperback, ~300 pages
Date read: Early '90s
Publication of novel: Based on its condition, I'd guess mid/late '80s
Setting: Post-WWII Africa, presumably '60s or '70s
Novel cover: The edition I read had a predominantly silver cover, possibly with a lion on it
- The opening scene is a British soldier in the protective detail for some foreign dignitary/politician. This soldier has an artificial leg (one of the attackers notices this and humourously thinks 'A soldier with a tin leg'). They are attacked, and use a bright light to dazzle the attackers and successfully repel the attack.
- Key Plot: A small group (maybe 10) British soldiers led by the above soldier are sent to an African nation to help its ruler fight back against a revolution.
- The revolutionary group is either known as "Jato", or uses that word as a rallying cry. There is also some association of the word "lions" with the group.
- The British leader of that group is at one point captured by the revolutionaries, he is respected by their leader, and is imprisoned in their camp in the jungle.
- The British leader escapes from that camp by triggering a dust explosion in a grain silo/storage shed, and then having an exhausting return to the capital city.
- There is a parallel storyline about a lady doctor (Western/white) who is working in that country, around the midpoint/second half of the novel she is almost raped by native soldiers, but is saved. I believe she also gets involved in a romantic relationship with said soldier.
- At its conclusion, the revolutionaries have succeeded in taking over the country, i.e. our hero's mission failed.
- The revolutionary leader allows the British soldiers to depart via plane (implying that while they were on opposing sides, they were professionals doing the job, just as he sees himself as a patriot doing his).
I have been searching for this novel for years, to no avail. My searches usually get lost in Jet Assisted Take Off (JATO, which is nothing to do with this novel's plot point or use of Jato), or in the word 'lions' which usually leads me to Ken Follett.
I would appreciate it if you could help point me towards this novel.