Victor loved his mother, and his step dad loved them both, but when she died, they fell apart and a few years on Victor is homeless and his dad misses him every day.
He’s returned to Seattle now, and is working up the courage to visit his dad when he stumbles upon the peaceful protest against the World Trade Organisations conference. He knows his dad is amongst it somewhere, he is the chief of police so he couldn’t be anywhere else.
But the protest does not go as peacefully as planned, when a protestor tries to protect Victor from some aggressive police tactics a chain of events is set in motion that makes every second more dangerous than the last.
The story is told from six perspectives – Victor, his dad, the cop that’s aggressive towards him and his partner, the protestor that tries to protect him, and a delegate from Sri Lanka trying to make it through the crowd to a meeting that could dramatically change the fate of his country. Although that sounds like a lot, Sunil Yapa is a skilled writer and each voice is recognisably different. Memories of each characters pasts are dwelt on momentarily within the chaos which helps us empathise with all the characters – the heroes are flawed and the anti-heroes have good sides. These are carefully place in the narrative so that they add to it rather than distract from it and as the peaceful protest moves towards a volatile situation the tension really builds.
There are some very intense and upsetting scenes in this book, and once or twice I had to put it down for a few minutes. But it was compelling and drew me back in.
This book wouldn’t be for everyone, it is quite political but I felt it offered up a smorgasbord of opinions and it didn’t preach. The fact that I felt it supported my political beliefs may be more down to me and how I responded to it than actually down to the author. You’ll have to read it yourself and make up your own mind about it’s message – feel free to share it in the comments below!