A vivid, gripping novel about corruption, integrity and good intentions gone wrong, set in an African country on the brink of civil war, for fans of John le Carre, Graham Greene and William Boyd.
As Ed and Sarah Caine's plane passes over the Ngozi hills and begins its descent into Kisuru, Sarah is dazzled by the purity of unspoiled nature, the perfect environment in which to raise their son. Ed, meanwhile, as Director of the Global Justice Alliance for East Africa, looks forward to rolling up his sleeves and making a real difference in a country that seems to be developing fast.
Below them, in the sprawling Makera slum, Stephen Odinga - who has to find a way of making more money for his dying mother than they can earn through the family business selling fried bananas - decides to try a more lucrative line of business. Meanwhile, Joseph Kamunda, a senior official in a government that for five years has been failing to deliver on its promise to end political corruption, is feeling isolated and exposed, while others around him covertly seek personal advantage out of International Aid programmes. And beyond the hills, a rebel army seethes and waits, poised to tip the country into civil war.
Before he knows it, the duplicity Ed thinks he has left behind in England will begin to infect his own family. Ten Weeks in Africa explores, in urgent, breathtaking prose, the tensions between our ideals and our reality, the deep rifts of cultural misunderstanding and the true cost of uninformed good intentions.
Praise for The Illumination of Merton Browne:
'As soon as you read the first page you're gripped by the voice...a state of the nation novel...a very tough, unflinching look at what life is like today...but there's also an incredible amount of hope...scary, compelling, original...brilliant'* Boyd Hilton, Simon Mayo Show, Radio 5 *