"Where the implausible is not

only possible, it is mandatory.”

Novels Books Madagascar.jpg

Madagascar is a novel of passion and intrigue set on that strange and spirit-ridden island. Here, diplomat Robert Knott—reformed alcoholic, unreformed gambler, inveterate smart-ass and inconstant lover—has seen his life and career hit bottom. Up to his eyes in debt to to the local casino and its murderous owner, Knott has also earned the deadly enmity of a cold-blooded police captain. Even as he tries to stay alive, Knott is also attempting to free from prison a broken down cowboy named Walt Sackett, in whose fate he sees his own. He is haunted too by Nirina, a Malagasy beauty with the courage to break with the only world she has known in order to find a new life. Behind all this lies the ultimate Joker, and what might be the strongest character in the story—Madagascar—the Island of Ghosts, where the implausible is not only likely, but mandatory.

In a style evoking Graham Greene and the atmosphere of Casablanca, Holgate (Tangier, 2017) presents the island nation of Madagascar through the eyes of a nearly burned-out American diplomat, who is one smart remark away from complete ruination. Robert Knott, the aging diplomat, struggles with a large gambling debt to a French expat casino owner, with an estranged daughter who barely listens when he calls, and with a withering sense of duty to free and American jailed in a nightmarish gulag. When Robert is followed by the American’s very attractive Malagasy girlfriend, political intrigue and dirty money lead him through the back roads and violent alleys of the country, where all dead ancestors watch over the living, and no one ever escapes their fate. It would be easy to dismiss the main protagonist as another haggard antihero done in by his vices, but Holgate sneaks in well-crafted moments of insight while the pace drive dramatic action.
— Michael Ruzicka
(T)he style in which author, Stephen Holgate, describes the flora and fauna is a delight, making it easy to imagine their beauty. The mystery and mysticism of the island add to a culture being destroyed by the greedy. Madagascar is an intriguing novel about those coming to grips with their own outlook on life.
— Mary Ann Smyth, Bookloons
Holgate has created a memorable lead character and made Madagascar, where the ‘implausible is not only possible, it is mandatory,’ palpable. Le Carré fans won’t want to miss this one.
— Publisher's Weekly starred review
Author Stephen Holgate brings the mystery and mysticism of Madagascar to life in his haunting and exciting second novel.
— Goodreads

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