In 1994, Marko Novak's world is torn apart by the death of his best friend, Kemal, a young soldier in the darkest days of the Bosnian war. After the funeral, Marko flees to England, hoping to put his broken homeland, and the part he played in the loss of his friend, behind him.Read more...
In 1994, Marko Novak's world is torn apart by the death of his best friend, Kemal, a young soldier in the darkest days of the Bosnian war. After the funeral, Marko flees to England, hoping to put his broken homeland, and the part he played in the loss of his friend, behind him.
In 2004, human rights researcher Anya Teal is following a tenuous lead in the hunt for a Bosnian man with blood on his hands. She is also clinging to the fragile hope that she can rebuild a relationship with her first love, William Howell. When Anya invites Will to join her on a Christmas holiday in the Thai beach resort of Khao Lak, she hopes the holiday will offer them the chance to unpick the mistakes of their past. But Khao Lak may also be home to the man Anya is looking for--a man with a much darker history.
What nobody knows is that a disaster as destructive as a war is approaching, detonated in the seabed of the Indian Ocean, one that will connect the fates of Marko, William, and Anya, across the years and continents. In its wake, everything Marko thought he knew will be overturned.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-10-17
- Reviewer: Staff
Savills immersive debut brings together the Bosnian War of the 1990s and the 2004 Thai tsunami in an enthralling story about destruction and justice. In 2004, Anya is working for a human rights organization in London. Although her organization has shifted its focus from human rights abuses to returning refugees displaced during the Bosnian war, Anya cant stop thinking about a rape of a Bosnian woman by soldiers during the war that was never investigated. Concurrently in Cambridge, Marko, a Bosnian immigrant, is haunted by the same incident and wonders whether his close friend, Kemal, really was guilty of participating in the rape. While investigating those involved in the incident, Anya hears that Kemal may not be dead, as previously reported, but instead living in a resort in Thailand. Combining work with pleasure, she travels to the resort for Christmas 2004 with William, her ex-boyfriend, in hopes of rekindling their romance. Early on, the story flashes back to the 90s in Bosnia, revealing the childhoods of Marko, Kemal, and their friends, and also moves forward to post-tsunami 2005: William is mourning Anya, who died in the tsunami, and Marko is back in Bosnia for Kemals funeral. This intricate story weaves together disparate threads, jumping among times and locations in a hopscotch that builds suspense toward the revelation of what actually happened in Bosnia. By wedding together multiple story lines into a chaotic, satisfying whole, Savill skillfully depicts the aid workers, perpetrators, victims, and survivors involved in two blurry moments of international crisis. (Dec.)