Knopf Publishing Group, Hardcover, 9780385352413, 337pp.
Publication Date: July 29, 2014
Exhausted by a hard tour of duty in Afghanistan, Sergeant Lester Ferris is sent to occupy the largely ceremonial post of British consul in Mancreu. This larcenous island is facing impending ecological disaster-which makes it, in the meantime, the perfect spot for the international underworld. Hence the Black Fleet of illicit ships lurking in the bay: spies, arms dealers, offshore hospitals, money-laundering operations, drug factories, and torture centers. Lester's brief is to sit tight and turn a blind eye, which he's happy to do. In his downtime, he's made a friend: a brilliant, Internet-addled, comic-book-addicted street kid who might, Lester hopes, become an adopted son. But when violence erupts, the boy suddenly needs Lester to be more than just an observer: he has no choice now but to rediscover the man of action he once was-and find out what kind of hero he might become.
Nick Harkaway's new novel mixes up a heady brew of comics, longing, tea, murder, post-colonial guilt and mystical tigers. Reviewer Jason Sheehan says it's "not just good, it's shake-a-granny good." More at NPR.org
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