Dara Barr, documentary filmmaker, is at the top of her game. She's covered neo-Nazis and post-Katrina New Orleans, but now she's looking for an even bigger challenge.
So Dara and her right-hand man Xavier head to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, to tackle modern-day pirates. But they soon find a whole lot more than they bargained for and quickly learn that almost no one in Djibouti is what he seems.
A mob of colourful characters patrols the seas, including a pirate chief with a taste for fine cars and an Oxford-educated sheik with scams of his own. And then there's the gun-toting Texan billionaire Billy Wynn, and James Russell, an American al-Qaeda convert who wants to blow up something big. As hijacked tankers line up like floating bombs, Dara and Xavier know it's time for a showdown .
'A vibrant contemporary thriller - exhilarating read, full of fun' Sunday Times
'Deliciously to-the-point dialogue . . . highly entertaining' Independent on Sunday
Leonard (Road Dogs) goes exotic with this eventually killer story of contemporary piracy set on the horn of Africa. Dara Barr, a documentary filmmaker newly arrived in Djibouti to make a film about pirates as a follow-up to her Oscar-winning Katrina documentary, and Dara's savvy friend and fixer, Xavier, stumble into a thicket of intrigue before the two are on the open water. Rogues they encounter include a "whirlwind Texas entrepreneur" sailing around the world; a crooked diplomat in league with a charismatic pirate, both eyeing a payday; and a pair of kidnapped al-Qaeda operatives, one an American citizen with a bounty on his head. Everyone has an angle or two, and once the plots stumble through an awkward first third, Leonard's hallmark breakneck pacing, crackling dialogue, and scalpel-sharp prose kick in. Seasoned Leonard readers will see some grays poking through this at times reads like a quite good imitation of an Elmore Leonard novel but it still beats the pants off of most of the competition.