Full of politics, heart, and the sort of suspense that nobody in the world does better, The Mission Song turns John Le Carre's laser eye for the complexity of the modern world on turmoil and conspiracy in Africa.
Abandoned by both his Irish father and Congolese mother, Bruno Salvador has long looked for someone to guide his life. He has found it in Mr. Anderson of British Intelligence. Bruno's African upbringing, and fluency in numerous African languages, has made him a top interpreter in London, useful to businesses, hospitals, diplomats--and spies. Working for Anderson in a clandestine facility known as the "Chat Room," Salvo (as he's known) translates intercepted phone calls, bugged recordings, and snatched voice mail messages.
When Anderson sends him to a mysterious island to interpret during a secret conference between Central African warlords, Bruno thinks he is helping Britain bring peace to a bloody corner of the world. But then he hears something he should not have...
By turns thriller, love story, and comic allegory of our times, The Mission Song is a crowning achievement, recounting an interpreter's heroically naive journey out of the dark of Western hypocrisy and into the heart of lightness.
Bestseller le Carr (The Constant Gardener) brings a light touch to his 20th novel, the engrossing tale of an idealistic and na ve British interpreter, Bruno "Salvo" Salvador. The 29-year-old Congo native's mixed parentage puts him in a tentative position in society, despite his being married to an attractive upper-class white Englishwoman, who's a celebrity journalist. Salvo's genius with languages has led to steady work from a variety of employers, including covert assignments from shadowy government entities. One such job enmeshes the interpreter in an ambitious scheme to finally bring stability to the much victimized Congo, and Salvo's personal stake in the outcome tests his professionalism and ethics. Amid the bursts of humor, le Carr convincingly conveys his empathy for the African nation and his cynicism at its would-be saviors, both home-grown patriots and global powers seeking to impose democracy on a failed state. Especially impressive is the character of Salvo, who's a far cry from the author's typical protagonist but is just as plausible.
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The Mission Song
Just okay for LeCarre