Thursday 2 December 2010

Ross Thomas: Missionary Stew

"He flew into Paris, the city of his birth, on a cold wet November afternoon. He flew in from Equatorial Africa wearing green polyester pants, a white T-shirt that posed the suspect question HAVE YOU EATEN YOUR HONEY TODAY? and a machine-knitted cardigan whose colour, he had finally decided, was mauve."

Morgan Citron has just been released after 13 months in a hellhole of an African jail, kept alive by bribing guards, forced to eat what he was told was monkey (remember, this book is called Misssionary Stew ...). Our hero is on his way back to the States. Looking for a quiet if impecunious life he is subtly dragged into a mix of US political chicanery and wrongdoing in South America, with cocaine and murder to spice things up.

Set against a framework of politicians jockeying for position in a future race for the presidency, ranging from murders in a Florida condo to Latin revolution, this is a typical Ross Thomas novel. The writing is elegant as ever, every word carefully chosen and anything that doesn't lend to the fun omitted. If you haven't read any of Thomas's books yet, grab this -- it's a great introduction. If you are familar with him, grab this, it's an excellent continuation.


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