"A satisfying and deeply unsettling novel... and, as a bonus, blessed with a fantastic soundtrack." - Robert Ryan (www.robert-ryan.net).
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THE SLAVE is about three people, at first unknown to each other, neighbours in Golders Green, a quiet district in north London. They are Neil Chapman, Liliana Petreanu and Bernard Kassin.
Neil, 31 years old, is a reckless young loner and drifter, recently split up with his girlfriend. He's into jazz and old films, rides a bike and works as a van driver, delivering luxury goods in the City of London. Above all, he wants to feel free.
Bernard, nearly twice his age, is a lawyer, practising Jew, devoted family man and a pillar of the community - he's the chairman of his local residents' association. Bernard is in constant battle against the wrongs, large and small, that he feels are blighting his neighbourhood and his country.
The two men have little in common. Yet Bernard too loves jazz and a sort of friendship springs up between Neil and his respectable older neighbour.
One evening Neil is tempted to visit a prostitute and impulsively calls a number in a local newspaper ad. The prostitute he visits is Liliana.
Liliana is 22 years old, Moldovan and doesn't speak English. She's locked in a room with boarded windows, in a house just minutes away.
She 'services' men all night and most of the day, and now can hardly tell them apart. She lives in a world of disturbed, obsessive ideas, delusions and memories of her former life.
She slips a note into Neil's pocket telling him she’s “not a whore, but a prisoner” and asking for help. She warns that her captors “will kill”.
Neil feels impelled to help, but this proves difficult. He understands it's no exaggeration that her captors would kill to protect their property. Gradually though, he prepares himself to free her.
Whether what he does is right would be hard to say. It's brave, foolhardy and wild. And as a result he is wanted by the police as well as being pursued by Liliana's captors.
Neil desperately calls on other people for help. Among them is Bernard, who, against every instinct about what is best for society, decides he must break the law to serve a greater good.
About Andrew Sanger
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Published February 24, 2013
by Andrew Sanger.
Literature & Fiction.