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The Book of the Heathen: A Novel of the Congo

3.27  ·  Rating Details  ·  30 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
1897. In an isolated station in the Belgian Congo, an Englishman is to be tried for the murder of a native child. Imprisoned in a makeshift jail, Nicholas Frere awaits the arrival of the Company's official investigator while his friend, James Frasier, attempts to discover the circumstances which surround the charge.

The world around them is rapidly changing: the horrors of
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ebook, 352 pages
Published January 28th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published August 3rd 2000)
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Janette Fleming
Nov 15, 2013 Janette Fleming rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
1897. In an isolated station in the Belgian Congo, an Englishman is to be tried for the murder of a native child. Imprisoned in a makeshift jail, Nicholas Frere awaits the arrival of the Company's official investigator while his friend, James Frasier, attempts to discover the circumstances which surround the charge.

The world around them is rapidly changing: the horrors of the Belgian Congo are becoming known and the flow of its once-fabulous wealth is drying up. Unrest flares unstoppably into vi
...more
Nancy Oakes
Feb 12, 2008 Nancy Oakes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's 1897, and the Europeans are in Africa exploiting the people and the country's resources. Most of the action takes place in the station of an unnamed British Company (simply known as "The Company), at a quarry. As the story opens, one of the Englishmen, a Nicholas Frere, has been seized and awaits the Company's official investigator who must look into Frere's alleged killing of a child. The circumstances surrounding the event are at best vague, but Frere will talk to no one, especially his f ...more
David Grieve
Sep 27, 2012 David Grieve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another excellent story from Robert Edric, although not an easy read. Set in a trading station in the Congo at the end of the nineteenth century, the plot revolves around 6 main characters who live and work there. One of their number has been accused of murdering a child and is being held as a prisoner.

They get caught up in the politics and the religion of the time with interference from a local warlord and priest.

Story aside, it is wonderfully evocative of the time and the place. The heat, the
...more
Trawets
Mar 26, 2012 Trawets rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's the Congo at the end of the 19th century, a European member of staff of a trading station, takes an unauthorised trip into the jungle, he returns, a captive, accused of killing a child. Very gradually we learn what happened in the jungle, it is neither straight forward nor does it reflect well on anyone involved. In fact the whole story, involving the British trading station, a Belgian missionary, an Arab slave trader, and the local population is one of decay and disappointment.There is no ...more
Bill
Feb 22, 2009 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, lit-fiction
This is the first book I have read by Robert Edric and I will definitely be reading more. It is set in the Congo in 1897 and concerns an Englishman who is charged with killing a native girl, and his friend who tries to find out what really happened. It is a very engrossing story with a fast-moving plot that never gets boring.
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Robert Edric (b. 1956) is the pseudonym of Gary Edric Armitage, a British novelist born in Sheffield.
More about Robert Edric...

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