Elmore Leonard's tack-sharp dialogue and comic underworld characters have been
drawing accolades and an ever growing base of fans, as he goes exotic with this killer story of modern-day pirates off the coast of East 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. Dara is fascinated by the pirate life, and with
her 6-foot-6 assistant Xavier — a seafarer who’s circumnavigated the
globe over 50 times — they rent a small boat less than 30 feet long and
sail off into the Indian Ocean in search of pirates. Dara is convinced
that there's another side to their story; she's sympathetic to the
pirates and wants to shoot them in a movie and explain their problems —
how they've lost their fishing grounds, which have been contaminated,
and now they have to resort to piracy. But she may find far more than
she wants, or expects, and the pair stumble into a thicket of intrigue even before they're 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 Leonard's hallmark breakneck pacing, crackling
dialogue, and scalpel-sharp prose kick in for a wild ride.
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