The Devil's Garden, By Edward Docx

 

The South American jungle is the claustrophobic setting for this moral thriller that delivers a powerful punch.

Dr J Forle is an entomologist based at an isolated river station known as "The Devil's Garden", a "blasted" place of dead trees and bad spiritual vibes.

Arriving to interrupt his studies of the local ant population is a boat-load of sinister visitors, including a judge, a colonel and an army captain.

An author who plays his cards close to his chest, Booker-longlisted Edward Docx leaves us guessing as to the real nature of their business.

Soon Dr Forle finds himself drawn into a small-scale Amazonian war with the indigenous population.

As powerful as any of the characters is the rainforest itself, a place where the insect trill is "like some great tinnitus".

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