Winner of the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize
A startlingly original tale of heartbreak and suspense
A car tumbles down a snowy ravine. Accident or suicide?
On the other side of the world, a young woman walks out of a sandstorm in sub-Saharan Africa. In the labyrinth of the Niger Delta, a young boy learns to survive by navigating through the gas flares and oil spills of a ruined landscape. In the seething heat of Lagos City, a criminal cartel scours the internet looking for victims.
Lives intersect, worlds collide, a family falls apart. And it all begins with a single email: “Dear Sir, I am the son of an exiled Nigerian diplomat, and I need your help ...”
419 takes readers behind the scene of the world’s most insidious internet scam. When Laura’s father gets caught up in one such swindle and pays with his life, she is forced to leave the comfort of North America to make a journey deep into the dangerous back streets and alleyways of the Lagos underworld to confront her father’s killer. What she finds there will change her life forever ...
From the internationally bestselling travel writer Will Ferguson, author of Happiness™ and Spanish Fly, comes a novel both epic in its sweep and intimate in its portrayal of human suffering. It’s a story of love in a time of darkness, of one woman’s search for redemption, and of a young boy who will triumph above it all.
A car, falling through darkness.
End over end, one shuddering thud following another. Fountains of glass showering outward and then—a vacuum of silence collapsing back in.
The vehicle came to rest on its back, at the bottom of an embankment below the bridge and propped up against a splintered stand of poplar trees. You could see the path it had taken through the snow, leaving a churned trail of mulch and wet leaves in its wake.
Into the scentless winter air: the seeping odour of radiator fluid, of gasoline.
They climbed down on grappling lines, leaning into their descent, the lights of the fire trucks and ambulances washing the scene in alternating reds and blues, throwing shadows first one way and then the next. Countless constellations in the snow. Glass, catching the light.
When the emergency team finally arrived at the bottom of the embankment, they were out of breath.
Within the folded metal of the vehicle: a buckled dashboard, bent steering wheel, more glass and—in the middle—something that had once been a...
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“You won't sleep until you finish ... . Riveting. Provocative.”
—The Globe And Mail
—Winnipeg Free Press
“Heart-wrenching, fascinating, and scary. A thriller with a raw nerve ending.”