THE BIG KILLING by Robert Wilson


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Are Liberia and its neighbors about to go up in flames? Call freelance fixer Bruce Medway.

Though no job is too tough for Medway (Instruments of Darkness, not reviewed), he isn’t much of an advertisement for multitasking. When half-caste porn producer Fat Paul agrees to pay him $4,000 to drop off a video to an Ivory Coast recipient who’ll trust only a white man, the transfer ends in a bloodbath. When Syrian millionaire B.B., who has Medway on retainer, wants him to travel to Korhogo to fire Kurt Nielsen, the Dane who’s running his sheanut operation, somebody gets to Nielsen first and lays him off permanently. And when Martin Fall, head of a security firm back in England, asks him to keep an eye on diamond scion Ronald Collins, who’s come to Africa for a big buy, the boy gets kidnapped by gun-toting thugs. Clearly all three jobs are connected to the murder of James Wilson, aide to the President of Liberia who lost his job when his boss lost his head last month. But finding out just how they’re connected is part of the fun of this darkly tangled thriller from highly regarded Wilson (The Blind Man of Seville, 2003,, etc.)—along with listening to Medway’s wisecracks, which carry real authority because they’re delivered without a trace of preening self-regard.

As for the identity of the powers behind the dozen executions: No matter who you guess, you’ll be right.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-15-601119-0
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Harvest/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2003


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