Manu, a Tutsi, who lives in a small village in the former Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) where he goes to school and herds cattle for his family. It all changes when his village is attacked by Congolese soldiers who murder his family and take him hostage. He is forced to take part in raids but manages to escape and meets an American pilot, Cogan, who takes him under his wing and flies him to Uganda.
Cogan is a ‘freight dog’ who doesn’t take sides but flies cargo including armaments to various warzones depending on who will pay. Cogan offers to teach him to fly which appeals to Manu who wants a quiet life and doesn’t want to fight in a war. He visits various warzones which brings him closer to the people he wishes to avoid. From there it gets even more complicated with hair-raising adventures and brushes with unpleasant people.
This is a great African adventure story that keeps you enthralled to the end along the lines of le Carré and Rider Haggard.
An amazing and profound work, rich in memorable detail. * Jay Parini *
Every new novel by Giles Foden is something to celebrate - my hand leaps to the shelf. * Paul Theroux *
Audacious, shrewd and spirited * William Boyd on THE LAST KING OF SCOTLAND *