The spellbinding story of an American lawyer who takes on a nearly impossible casethe defense of an African freedom fighter against his corrupt governments charge of murder
Damon Pierces life has just reached a defining moment: a gifted California lawyer, hes being divorced by his wife and his work often seems soulless. Then he receives a frantic e-mail from Marissa Brand Okaria woman he loved years agoand decides to risk everything to respond to her plea for help.
Marissas husband, Bobby Okari, is the charismatic leader of a freedom movement in the volatile west African nation of Luandia, which is being torn apart by the worlds craving for its vast supply of oil. Bobbys outspoken opposition to the exploitation of his homeland by PetroGlobala giant American oil company with close ties to Luandias brutal governmenthas enraged General Savior Karama, the countrys autocratic ruler. After Bobby leads a protest rally during a full eclipse of the sun, everyone in his home village is massacred by government troops. And now Bobby has been arrested and charged with the murder of three PetroGlobal workers. Still drawn to Marissa, Pierce agrees to defend Bobby, hoping to save both Bobby and Marissa from almost certain death. But the lethal politics of Luandia may cost Pierce his life instead.
Culminating in a dramatic show trial and a desperate race against time, Eclipse combines a thrilling narrative with a vivid look at the human cost of the global lust for oil. Here is Richard North Patterson at his compelling best, confirming his place as our most provocative author of popular fiction.
The Devils Light
In a West African village, Marissa Brand Okari watched her husband prepare to risk his life for the act of speaking out.
It was night. Hundreds of villagers, old and young, gathered in the center of town, their faces illuminated less by moonlight than by the huge orange flame that spewed out of the vertical stem thrusting from an oil pipeline. Torchlike, the stem backlit the line of palms behind the village, its thick residue of smoke blackening the air, its roar a constant ominous presence. Every day in the life of any villager under thirty, this terrible eruption - the flaring of gas from the oil extracted by PetroGlobal Luandia from beneath the deep- red clay - had never ceased, its searing, poisonous heat denuding trees, killing birds and animals, and turning the rainfall to acid, which corroded the roofs that sheltered the peoples thatched homes.
The "devils light," Bobby Okari called it. Now his people, the Asari, bore him on their ...
Simplicity is something to which Patterson never succumbs, even though at times it might feel a blessing. But in the cosmos of Eclipse there are almost more strata of complex desire, motivation and intention than it is possible to track. And each desire, motivation and intention eclipses something else until no character is able to see things plainly. It is what sets a Richard North Patterson thriller apart from its competitors on bookstore shelves and keeps him hitting the New York Times bestseller list.
(Reviewed by Donna Chavez).
Full Review (732 words).
In his acknowledgments, Richard North Patterson confirms that Eclipse is loosely based on the life and death of Nigerian writer and activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995.
Ken Saro-Wiwa (1941-1995) was born Kenule Benson Tsaro-Wiwa in Bori, Rivers State (a coastal state in the south of Nigeria, map). He was the son of Jim Beesom Wiwa, a businessman and community chief of the Ogoni people, an ethnic minority whose homelands have been targeted for oil extraction since the 1950s. The Ogoni are one of the many indigenous people of the Niger Delta region. Their 404-square-mile homeland, known as Ogoniland, is located in Rivers State on the coast of the Gulf of Guinea and is home to about half a ...
If you liked Eclipse, try these:
A new novel from the winner of the Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa.
The publishers "don't want to spoil" the story by giving too much away - so we won't - but in brief it features a young Nigerian orphan, a well-off British couple, and the real distances in a globalized world which can be crossed in single day. Published as The Other Hand in the UK, Australia and India; and Little Bee in the USA and Canada.
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