Dara Barr, documentary filmmaker, is at the top of her game. She's covered the rape of Bosnian women, neo-Nazi white supremacists, and post-Katrina New Orleans, and has won awards for all three. Now, looking for a bigger challenge, Dara and her right-hand-man, Xavier LeBo, a six-foot-six, seventy-two-year-old African American seafarer, head to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, to film modern-day pirates hijacking merchant ships.
They learn soon enough that almost no one in the Middle East is who he seems to be. The most successful pirate, driving his Mercedes around Djibouti, appears to be a good guy, but his pal, a cultured Saudi diplomat, has dubious connections. Billy Wynn, a Texas billionaire, plays mysterious roles as the mood strikes him. He's promised his girlfriend, Helene, a nifty fashion model, that he'll marry her if she doesn't become seasick or bored while circling the world on his yacht. And there's Jama Raisuli, a black al Qaeda terrorist from Miami, who's vowed to blow up something big.
What Dara and Xavier have to decide, besides the best way to stay alive: Should they shoot the action as a documentary or turn it into a Hollywood feature film?
"Seasoned Leonard readers will see some grays poking through... but it still beats the pants off of most of the competition." - Publishers Weekly
"Leonard never tells a story in the expected way, but this time he outdoes himself. Marvelous entertainment." - Booklist
"Leonard's characters make James Bond look fidgety." - Kirkus
"Trademark Elmore Leonard twists, turn, and wry current affairs commentary." - BN.com
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Elmore Leonard became interested in writing in 1935, after reading a serialization of All Quiet on the Western Front in the Detroit Times. Touched by the story, he wrote a play based on the novel for his fifth-grade classroom, using the desks as "No-Man's-Land." In high school he wrote a story or two for the school paper but spent most of his time reading. After graduating in 1943 Leonard joined the navy and served with a Seabee unit in the South Pacific. He left the service in 1946 and enrolled at the University of Detroit. At the university he began writing again, entering short story contests and placing third in one of them. He graduated in 1950 with a major in English and philosophy.
In 1949, while still in college, Leonard joined the Campbell-Ewald advertising ...
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