TITLE: The Cacao Conspiracy
Workaholic Peta takes an innocuous job on a documentary about chocolate and discovers the dark side of the sweet industry after witnessing two murders. With the killers' influence extending to the highest reaches of office and further deaths hushed up, Peta must expose the murderers before she is next.
Peta Blackman strode across the jungle clearing, lugging a blue icebox towards an Ivorian boy. She placed it on the ground before him and wiped the sweat from her forehead, then removed the lid.
Little Wilfried Eboue leant forward and peered into the icebox. His eyes widened as he saw the bar of chocolate inside. Peta grinned. At eight years old, Wilfried was about to get his first taste of chocolate. Peta, and the film crew of which she was part, were capturing the moment so they could one day broadcast it worldwide as part of a documentary on chocolate.
Peta surveyed the clearing. Wilfried's father, a cacao farmer, hovered nearby while a gaggle of older brothers lolled against trees. The crew members bent over their equipment, readying themselves for the first take.
A movement in the trees caught Peta's eye. The hairs on the back of her neck rose. She scanned the foliage, but saw nothing except the crops. There were cacao trees, with colourful pods ripe on the trunks, but banana and mango trees also abounded, all growing in a riotous tangle - apparently the cacao trees did better if mixed in among other crops. As a location scout, it offended Peta's sense of what a plantation should look like, but she had been ordered to find a typical cacao farm in Ivory Coast and she had delivered.
The trees rustled again. Peta just had time to register a glint of metal before gunshots rang out.