Picador £7.99 (323pp) £7.59 from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
The Devil's Garden, By Edward Docx
Friday 20 January 2012
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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