Black water / Louise Doughty.
Publication year: 2016
Publisher: London : Faber & Faber, 2016.
ISBN: 9780571323555 (hbk.) :
Harper wakes every night, terrified of the sounds outside his hut halfway up a mountain in Bali. He is afraid that his past as a mercenary has caught up with him - and that his life may now been in danger. As he waits to discover his fate, he meets Rita, a woman with her own past tragedy, and begins a passionate affair. Their relationship makes Harper realise that exile comes in many forms - but can Rita and Harper save each other while they are putting each other very much at risk?
vii, 344 pages ; 24 cm
A dark & disturbing read set in Indonesia during the massacres of 1965 PKI uprising & the riots of 1990's to overturn president Soeharto. Harper born in a concentration camp has a troubled unhappy childhood in Holland and California. Left by his mother with step grandparents and later recalled to her after an incident with his younger half brother. He becomes an "operative" with the Institute, a shady organisation that outsources its people to operate in dangerous parts of the world. He is returned to Jakarta togather & pass on names of communist supporters ensuring their certain death. He becomes paranoid over things he has seen (page 190 particularly vivid) and done to stay alive and becomes convinced that he is going to be killed. This wasn't the book on the same level as "Apple Tree Yard" but never the less was a compelling read. All credit to LD for bravery tackling a difficult topic & at the same time enlightening on Indonesian history creating a creditable story.
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