In his first novel, The Amnesia Clinic, James Scudamore showed that he was adept at creating and sustaining an evocative atmosphere, and at playing with concepts of truth and fiction. His narrator, an English boy in a South American country, proved to be unreliable, and the novel slickly dealt with the fallout of his deceptions. Here, in his second novel, he returns to similar ground.
Ludo dos Santos is born amongst the dust, depression and dirt of a favela known as Heliópolis, where the only meaningful opportunities are with drug-running gangs. When Rebecca, an Englishwoman married to a billionaire supermarket owner known as ‘José Generoso’, rescues Ludo and his mother from poverty and