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Prayer of the Crow

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Genre Literary Fiction
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Synopsis

In 1974 Lucas Harrogate vanishes into the remote highlands of Western Mozambique. Forty years later his weather damaged journal turns up in Scotland.

Lucas writes that he is propped up in a hospital bed at a remote Catholic mission. At this hospital there is neither a phone nor a radio, no clocks or calendars – nothing in the empty ward marks the passage of time. Apart from Beatriz, his friendly but enigmatic nurse, the staff consists of a community of weirdly disengaged nuns.

To make matters worse Lucas is only just recovering from years of amnesia. Nightmare images come to memory: “ice-cold evil” takes the form of a young “missionary” who, despite his appalling death by an enraged elephant, continues to haunt him as a malignant presence. He recalls a nightmare trek where lions, crocodiles, snakes and vultures form the backdrop to a terrifying epiphany.

As he reads Lucas’s account, Adrian Broadbent wonders if it is the true testimony of one of his oldest friends, or a descent into the dark subconscious of colonialism itself.

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