Rats ate his baby daughter while he partied in a disco. Now Horace "Horse" Mann is a drugged-out expat teaching English to criminals in Lima, Peru. Oh, and doing the odd favour for the CIA.
When his Agency contact, Pitt Waters, goes missing, Horse's desperate efforts to find his only friend lead him to a Buddhist ashram on the shores of Lake Titicaca. There Horse uncovers his friend's involvement with a group of Gaia-worshipping terrorists who want to kill off the human "disease" infecting the earth.
Can Horse find his friend in time? And when he does--will he want to stop him?
I haven’t read much fiction set in South America, scratches head……..err change that to none whatsoever, though I’m sure there’s something from Bitter Lemon Press on the pile that’s set in Argentina………..off now to look it up……….yeah – Rage by Serge Bizzio.
Well having contributed to several Lonely Planet travel guides for the region, the author has a familiarity with the locale and paints a vivid picture of the seamier side of Lima.
Porup introduces us to a variety of miscreants; a Chinese drug dealer, a corrupt cop, whores, a pick-pocket, a CIA assassin and Horse, himself – as in hung like a….
Horace, close to rock-bottom after losing his daughter and wife is surviving giving English lessons to criminals, trying to numb his pain with a daily cocktail of drink, drugs and soulless sex.
Meeting Pitt in a bar, brings him a small sense of purpose. Pitt, son of the American Ambassador and a clandestine operator for the agency befriends Horse and drags him into an agency operation.
Complications arise with Horse screwing Pitt’s mum and Pitt turning rogue. Horse seeking to find some answers encounters his wife in the sanctuary of a crazed cult, one with big plans for the world’s future.
Horse has to choose between allowing Pitt to complete his latest mission or achieving some measure of redemption.
The Second Bat Guano War is a decent read, depicting some of the less savoury aspects of life in a South American capital city. The characters whilst not always likeable are interesting and entertaining.
Porup throws in some history lessons as well, explaining the legacy of bat guano and the way it has shaped this part of South America. Some pithy observations on corporate America add to the blend.
On the whole, different but enjoyable. 4 from 5.
I read this one as a free download from Smashwords. It’s available from Amazon on Kindle and will be in print sometime soon.
Visiting Porup’s website he has a previous book out – The United States Of Air, which has attracted some decent reviews and which I might be checking out once I’ve put a dent in the TBR mountain.
(review of free book)