Based on an actual 1906 incident on New Guinea’s isolated Kabakon Island, this desultory mystery provides a striking contrast to McKinty’s previous book, the taut In the Morning I’ll Be Gone. The small German cult known as the Cocovores live naked on Kabakon, where they worship the sun and eat mostly coconuts, a regimen they believe confers immortality. When a member dies and an autopsy is performed on the mainland, murder is indicated. The region’s German government sends former British military police officer Will Prior, still healing from the traumatic carnage he witnessed in the Boer War, to the island. Insect bites, the group’s bizarre drug-laced diet, and their insistence that the death was natural, slow his inquiry. By the time he guesses the truth, his collapsing health and the Cocovores’ efforts to protect themselves jeopardize his ability to report it. Despite the fascinating historical details, the novel never makes its most enigmatic characters more than merely curious. Agent: Bob Mecoy, Creative Book Services. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/14/2014 Release date: 09/09/2014 Genre: Fiction
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