Publisher: Random House (Audio)
Date: March 2011
Duration: 12 hours 29 minutes
A singularly effervescent novel pivoting around the disappearance of an American businessman in the Philippines and the long-suffering son, jilted lover, slick police commissioner, misguided villain, and supernatural saviors who all want a piece of him.
Mourning the recent loss of his mother, twentysomething Benicio - aka Benny - travels to Manila to reconnect with his estranged father, Howard. But when he arrives his father is nowhere to be found - leaving an irritated son to conclude that Howard has let him down for the umpteenth time. However, his father has actually been kidnapped by a meth-addled cabdriver, with grand plans to sell him to local terrorists as bait in the countrys never-ending power struggle between insurgents, separatists, and "democratic" muscle.
Benicios search for Howard reveals more about his fathers womanizing ways and suspicious business deals, reopening the old hurts that hed hoped to mend. Interspersed with the sons inquiry and the fathers calamitous life in captivity are the high-octane interconnecting narratives of Reynato Ocampo, the local celebrity-hero policeman charged with rescuing Howard; Ocampos ragtag team of wizardry-infused soldiers; and Monique, a novice officer at the American embassy whose family still feels feverishly unmoored in the Philippines.
With blistering forward momentum, crackling dialogue, wonderfully bizarre turns, and glimpses into both Filipino and expat culture, the novel marches toward a stunning climax, which ultimately challenges our conventional ideas of family and identity and introduces Yates as a powerful new voice in contemporary literature.