The Book of the Heathen by Robert Edric
A Novel of the Congo

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Synopsis

1897. In an isolated station in the Belgian Congo, an Englishman is to be tried for the murder of a native child. Imprisoned in a makeshift jail, Nicholas Frere awaits the arrival of the Company's official investigator while his friend, James Frasier, attempts to discover the circumstances which surround the charge.

The world around them is rapidly changing: the horrors of the Belgian Congo are becoming known and the flow of its once-fabulous wealth is drying up. Unrest flares unstoppably into violence.

Frere's coming trial will seek to determine considerably more than the killing of a child. But at the heart of this conflict is a secret so dark, so unimaginable, that one man must be willingly destroyed by his possession of it, and the other must both sanction and participate in that destruction.

In a narrative of ever-quickening and growing intensity, The Book of the Heathen explores notions of honor, friendship, justice and reason in a world where men have been forced by circumstance to descend into an abyss of savagery and terror. The Book of the Heathen is a stunning novel that truly evokes a Conradian heart of darkness.
 

About Robert Edric

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Robert Edric is the author of several acclaimed novels including The Broken Lands. He currently lives in East Yorkshire.
 
Published November 1, 2002 by Thomas Dunne Books. 352 pages
Genres: History, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Book of the Heathen

Kirkus Reviews

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The British company Nicholas worked for, however, doesn’t want him handed over to an alien authority without a proper investigation beforehand, so he’s moved down-river to British territory pending an inquiry into the case.

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The Guardian

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The Book of the Heathen Robert Edric Anchor, £9.99, 351ppBuy it at BOL.

Aug 18 2000 | Read Full Review of The Book of the Heathen: A No...

Publishers Weekly

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British writer Edric (The Broken Lands) stakes a claim in Joseph Conrad territory with this haunting novel set in the late 19th century in the Belgian Congo, where the concession-holding British have mined the land to exhaustion with little regard for the starving indigenous population.

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