by Nick McDonell |

REVIEWED BY ANDREW ABRAHAMS

FICTION

A literary wunderkind at age 17 with his 2002 debut novel, Twelve, about rich, druggy Manhattan teens, McDonell continues his streak with a suspenseful, Graham Greene-inspired third effort. The thriller’s action spans from Somalia—where Hatashil, a rebel leader and purported humanitarian, is accused of instigating a bloody massacre—to Harvard University, where ambitious professor Susan Lowell extols Hatashil in a Pulitzer Prize-winning book. A well-traveled Harvard grad, McDonell knows Cambridge’s ivy walls well but also does a convincing job navigating Africa’s murky political alliances. Despite some over-frenetic bouncing between scenes, it’s clear this young writer has only begun to show where his prodigious storytelling will take us.

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