Set in a fictitious African country, this is a powerful exploration of corruption, integrity, and the gulf between ideals and reality, by a 21st-Century Graham Greene.
A vivid, gripping novel about corruption, integrity and good intentions gone wrong, set in an African country on the brink of civil war, for fans of John le Carre, Graham Greene and William Boyd. What does it cost to do the right thing? Your time? Your money? Your career? Your family?
Ed Caine and Beatrice Kamunda just want to make a difference. From their modest NGO office in the African city of Kisuru, they plan to spend millions improving the lives of those who need it most. Yet they are working in a country where altruistic dreams can get caught in a web of corruption and violence. Can Ed trust the overtures of politician Pamela Abasi? And should Bea take the obvious affection of slum boy-turned businessman Solomon Ouko at face value?
When rebel fighters in the hills have their own plans for change, it is no longer just the slum inhabitants whose lives hang in the balance...
Page-turning and deeply moving. A masterpiece. - Amanda Foreman
All the pace and drama you could wish for - Guardian
Lucid and humane - Charles Moore, Daily Telegraph
A dramatic story which involves the reader from the first page. The insight into the politics of overseas aid is as convincing and courageous as the author's depiction of comprehensive education in The Illumination of Merton Browne. - Piers Paul Reed
Shaw's pacing, happily, is almost faultless. With its emphasis on dialogue, its ensemble cast, its moral dilemmas and its well-maintained tension his book has the feel already of a television miniseries . . . it is crammed with plot and constant drama. - Literary Review
Praise for The Illumination of Merton Browne:
'As soon as you read the first page you're gripped by the voice...a state of the nation novel...a very tough, unflinching look at what life is like today...but there's also an incredible amount of hope...scary, compelling, original...brilliant' - Boyd Hilton, Simon Mayo Show, Radio 5
Merton has a distinctive voice - edgy, sharp, and avid for adventure, whether it's drugs or sex. His inner struggle to abandon his self-destructive path and become responsible for his own life makes for a gripping read. - Daily Mail
An explosive, disturbingly realistic story - Guardian