The Illegal

Lawrence Hill. Norton, $26.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-393-07059-0
This taut political thriller from Hill (The Book of Negroes) focuses on undocumented immigrants, and how they struggle to survive in hostile nations. Keita Ali lives in the fictional island continent of Zantorland, located between Africa and Australia and best known for producing world-class marathon runners. His older sister, Charity, and well-respected journalist father, Yoyo, encourage Keita’s training as a gifted marathoner, but then Yoyo is arrested for his supposedly incendiary writings. Charity later escapes to study at Harvard, and Keita excels at racing. After the government thugs kill the dissident Yoyo, Keita flees to Clarkson, the capital of the nearby (and also fictional) island continent called Freedom State. He befriends Viola Hill, a paraplegic reporter covering the civil unrest in AfricTown, a chaotic ghetto where the glut of unwanted refugees like Keita stay. He continues running to win the prize money in marathon competitions, especially after Charity is lured back to Zantorland, kidnapped, and held for ransom. The descriptive passages of Keita’s runs offer ample excitement, while the colorful minor characters such as Lula DiStefano, “the unofficial queen of AfricTown,” and Ivernia Beech, Keita’s elderly but feisty landlady, add refreshing story elements. Hill’s intricate, propulsive plot includes corruption, murder, and mayhem, and readers will be rushing to its fulfilling resolution. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 10/12/2015
Release date: 01/01/2016
Genre: Fiction
Hardcover - 400 pages - 978-1-55468-383-3
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4434-1584-2
Open Ebook - 416 pages - 978-0-393-28546-8
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-55468-384-0
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-393-35368-6
Mass Market Paperbound - 448 pages - 978-1-4434-5313-4
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-1-55468-385-7
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