The blistering heat of the Sahara desert provides the backdrop for Meiring Fouche’s thrilling fifth tale, “The Fort is Quiet”. The story follows three soldiers, Teuns Stegmann, Fritz Mundt, and Jack Ritchie, who find themselves transferred to the isolated Fort Laval as punishment after getting into a bar fight. As Lieutenant Juin and his relief column approach Fort Laval, they immediately sense something is amiss. The fort appears deserted, with gates eerily left wide open.

Venturing cautiously inside, Juin and two other soldiers are shocked to find not soldiers but a striking woman, Brigitte Bonnet, behind the commander’s desk. Claiming to be the new authority of the fort, she promptly takes Juin and his men prisoner. They soon realize Brigitte is enacting a bitter plan for revenge against the French Foreign Legion for the death of her sister, the late Princess of the Dulacs, El Karima. Brigitte has the thirty soldiers locked in the fort’s sleeping quarters without food or water to systematically weakens them for a cruel experiment. Soon bloodcurdling screams echo through the halls, as one by one, men are taken away for torturous experimentation with a secret poison gas weapon. Afterward, their bodies are disposed of and left for the vultures in the sweltering Sahara desert. When Teuns is selected next, Fritz and Jack are permitted one last trip for food and water before being shot dead in an “escape attempt”.

Trapped and outgunned, morale plummets amongst the captive troops. Betrayal and madness threaten to tear them apart from within. It seems Brigitte has planned her revenge flawlessly. Yet as Juin counsels patience, hope still glimmers for the men of the Legion. As the remaining Legion men grow increasingly desperate, a strange tapping sound emanates from beneath their quarters’ floor, suggesting they might have a secret ally. They hear the rhythmic sounds of Morse code. Is it a message for Lieutnant Juin? But who is behind this covert communication? And can it somehow aid their dire situation before all is lost?

Meanwhile, Brigitte continues her cruel agenda, denying water and executing more Legion soldiers to punish any misbehavior. The arrival of the maniacal Professor Benesj escalates matters further. Juin realizes they will soon all be marched into the desert for a massive live experiment under the effects of the horrific gas. With time running out and lives hanging in the balance, Juin desperately hatches a risky overnight plan. Can the garrison be saved in time? Will Brigitte’s thirst for vengeance consume them all? As despair threatens to overtake the men and the desert sun climbs into the sky, the story builds to an explosive, unexpected climax where a fierce and bloody conflict will determine who lives and dies at Fort Laval.

With fluid action sequences, rich details of Legion life, camaraderie in the face of adversity, and a brewing love story, “The Fort is Quiet” will keep readers enthralled until its thrilling climax. Thus step into the Sahara and experience an unforgettable tale of intrigue, bravery, and sacrifice. Meiring Fouche crafts a gripping and suspenseful tale that will keep readers anxiously turning pages. Grab a copy of “The Fort is Quiet” to experience this thriller firsthand! With vivid characters and nonstop intrigue, this book provides an addictive adventure that will stay with you long after the shocking conclusion.


  • Pieter Haasbroek
    19 Apr 2023

    Dr. Frans Alwyn Venter (27 November 1916 - 8 July 1997) grew up in difficult times. The periods when he farmed, it was mainly during the depression years and he had to endure various droughts on top of that. However, these tough years gave him the maturity and determination to come up with his wonderful stories, which are still highly in demand today and will continue to be. Nothing was easy in his life, and he had to work very hard to make it a success. He was not someone who had time for nonsense. As a kind of a loner, he did not have much regard for all kinds of groups. He nevertheless had a great appreciation and respect for nature, his language, his people, his history, and especially his fellow man. It was always a pleasure and delight for him, when he met someone, to first strike up a quick conversation with the person, to get to know the person better rather than being interested in what the person could do for him. Truly a remarkable and very rare trait that commands respect and admiration. F.A. Venter was undoubtedly a phenomenal writer, whose equal is difficult to find. His field of writing was broad and each of his books is difficult to put down before one has even finished reading it. He wrote only a few books under his name. Other pseudonyms he used for his books were Meiring Fouche, Marius de Jongh, Elske te Water, and Rene Stegman. However, he wrote most of his books under the pseudonym Meiring Fouche and quickly reached great heights, especially with his four “Trek” books, Offerland, Gelofte Land, Geknelde Land, and Bedoelde Land. His book Man van Cirene is widely regarded as the most popular and was translated into several languages shortly after its publication. In total, F.A. Venter wrote more than ninety softcover books and more than forty hardcover books! He also wrote several short stories for magazines and newspapers and his books are still in demand and extremely popular with young and old. What made him so unique as a writer was the fact that with his writing style, he had the exceptional ability to conjure up a whole story in your head with one sentence or a few sentences that you could associate with or see play out in your mind’s eye. You only need to read the first one or two paragraphs of any of his books to be immediately captivated and held captive in the given story until you have read the last page of the book. Together with excellent descriptions of all his stories, with the fewest words possible, it makes the reader look forward to reading his next book. In this Sahara Adventure series, you meet Teuns Stegmann, an extremely brave, clever, and talented South African. His brother’s fighter plane was shot down over the mighty Sahara Desert by a German pilot during World War II. Desert Arabs captured him and later killed him before he could escape. To avenge his brother’s death, Teuns then left his beautiful wine farm in the Hex River Valley in South Africa and joined the French Foreign Legion in North Africa. There he quickly made great friends with a Pole, an Italian, an Englishman, and a German. Together, the five of them had to face the mighty Sahara desert with all its dangers that lurked around every corner. If it’s not the Arabs threatening their lives, it’s some crazy professor who wants to use secret gas to wipe out their Foreign Legion soldiers. With one exciting and action-packed adventure after another coming their way, it is Teuns Stegmann’s brilliant mind and incredible bravery that repeatedly save them from trouble. This series of forty books in the Sahara Adventure series, written by F.A. Venter under the pseudonym Meiring Fouche, will stay with you forever. It is without a doubt a Sahara series of stories without equality that both young and old can enjoy. So, if you like stories that are top-notch and set in the mighty and deadly Sahara desert, then this series is just for you. It is so well-written that you will want to take it out of your story bookcase every five years to reread and enjoy it all over again. With a warm cup of coffee or a glass of wine in hand, there is nothing that beats this series for action and adventure!