Dara Barr, documentary filmmaker, is at the top of her game. She's covered Bosnian women, Neo-Nazis and post-Katrina New Orleans (for which she won an Oscar), but now she's looking for an even bigger challenge. So she and her right-hand-man - a 6-foot-six, 72-year-old, African-American name Xavier - head to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa to ...
Dara Barr, documentary filmmaker, is at the top of her game. She's covered Bosnian women, Neo-Nazis and post-Katrina New Orleans (for which she won an Oscar), but now she's looking for an even bigger challenge. So she and her right-hand-man - a 6-foot-six, 72-year-old, African-American name Xavier - head to Djibouti on the Horn of Africa to tackle modern-day pirates. Once they start filming though, they find a whole lot more than they bargained for. They quickly learn that almost nobody in Djibouti is what he seems. A whole mob of colourful characters patrols the surrounding seas, including a pirate chief who keeps a BMW in Djibouti and a cultured Saudi diplomat with dubious connections. There's a billionaire American who plays different roles as the moods strike him. He loves champagne and firing his 600-calibre elephant gun. If his girlfriend Helene gets seasick or bored, he won't marry her. And there's an Al Qaeda terrorist from Miami with very lofty ambitions, who wants to blow up something big. What Dara and Xavier don't know is which guy is going to get the prize - and what they'll have to do if they want it.
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Publishers Weekly, 2011-02-07 In Leonard's new novel, Oscar-winning documentarian Dara Barr and her 73-year-old assistant, Xavier LeBo, travel to the Horn of Africa to film Somali pirates. They get exciting footage, but Leonard, almost perversely, provides much of the action as exposition, with the filmmakers safe and sound in hotels or on yachts, discussing their adventures over champagne. This is not good news for thriller lovers, since thrills are in short supply. But it's tremendous fun for those who can't get enough of the author's snappy patter. For Tim Cain, it's a chance to demonstrate his ability to deal with pages of witty dialogue, and he shines, demonstrating quick vocal shifts, wide-ranging accents, and well-thought-out pacing. The result is a smoothly efficient, entertaining drawing room comedy in which not even terrorism is taken too seriously. A Morrow hardcover. (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly, 2010-08-23 Leonard (Road Dogs) goes exotic with this eventually killer story of contemporary piracy set on the horn of Africa. Dara Barr, a documentary filmmaker newly arrived in Djibouti to make a film about pirates as a follow-up to her Oscar-winning Katrina documentary, and Dara's savvy friend and fixer, Xavier, stumble into a thicket of intrigue before the two are on the open water. Rogues they encounter include a "whirlwind Texas entrepreneur" sailing around the world; a crooked diplomat in league with a charismatic pirate, both eyeing a payday; and a pair of kidnapped al-Qaeda operatives, one an American citizen with a bounty on his head. Everyone has an angle or two, and once the plots stumble through an awkward first third, Leonard's hallmark breakneck pacing, crackling dialogue, and scalpel-sharp prose kick in. Seasoned Leonard readers will see some grays poking through-this at times reads like a quite good imitation of an Elmore Leonard novel-but it still beats the pants off of most of the competition. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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