The Blood Latitudes

William Harrison, Author MacAdam/Cage Publishing $25 (250p) ISBN 978-1-878448-97-2
A retired journalist travels back to the Africa he once knew in search of his missing son, also a journalist, in novelist and screenwriter (Rollerball and Mountains of the Moon) Harrison's atmospheric and provocative drama. Widower Will Hobbs, an American living in London, has begun to feel lost in retirement. When his competitive son, Buck, arrives with his wife, Key, and son to announce that he is taking over Will's old beat--the African bureau--the elder Hobbs is troubled both by his resentment of his offspring and his attraction to his daughter-in-law. Shortly after the eager and stubborn Buck leaves for assignment in dangerous, war-torn Rwanda, Will nearly gives in to his dangerous passion for the invitingly sensuous Key. But Buck's disappearance, a bloodstained passport, camera case and numerous false leads propel Will toward Kibungu, in eastern Rwanda, where Buck is believed to be. Present-day Africa is hostile, radically different from the continent Will remembers: ""the old romance had given way to horror."" In Hemingwayesque style, Will heads alone out of the city and into dangerous countryside. He begins traveling with a small Hutu militia, led by the seemingly friendly and philosophical Papa Ngiza. But Papa's rebels turn out to be a pack of monstrous child killers and Will their pseudo-prisoner. Seeking deliverance, Will must struggle against his temptation to become a killer himself. The closer he gets to solving Buck's disappearance, the more distant and elusive his escape from Africa and return to Key and his grandson appear. Half travel narrative, half thriller, Harrison's suspenseful tale provides a compelling picture of a continent in turbulence and a journalist rediscovering his voice and his identity. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/2000
Release date: 04/01/2000
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