‘A stunning tale encompassing racial and sexual politics, ethics and loyalty in a labyrinthine plot about the theft of a talismanic ritual mask from a London exhibition’ Time Out
Gus Dixon, an idealistic mixed-race university lecturer, is campaigning for the payment of reparations to Africa by European governments. To this end, he enlists the aid of Dr Akinye Okigbo, a Nigerian exile in London. But for his part, Okigbo sees in Gus the perfect tool to further his political ends – by stealing the Dancing Face, a priceless African artefact of huge talismanic significance.
The theft goes smoothly, but soon everybody is after the Dancing Face – and such is its value to collectors and politicians alike that people are prepared to kill to get it. Murder, kidnapping, blackmail, espionage… it’s all running hopelessly out of control for the young man caught in the middle of these powerful opposing forces. And behind it all is the real question: how should the mask be used and what is the secret of its power?
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‘This book is brutal, deep, cunning and unbearably beautiful’
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown, Independent
‘Phillips’s writing is charming, cosmopolitan and full of wit… The pace is fast, and the action thrilling. But what makes The Dancing Face stand out is its array of compelling characters and the subtle interplay between them’
Museum piece, priceless artefact, spiritual talisman, political bargaining chip – the Dancing Face, a Beninoise mask now in Britain, means something different to each of those who seek to possess it. But whatever their motivation, such is the lure of the mask that collectors, crooks and politicians alike will stop at nothing – be it murder, kidnapping, blackmail or espionage – to get their hands on it.
Is it the dark power of the Dancing Face itself that causes sinister events to befall those who come in contact with it? Struggling to understand the source of the mask’s power and how best to use it, university lecturer Gus Dixon and his younger brother, Danny, born in Britain of mixed parentage, soon find themselves out if their depth – driven by an idealism that is no match for the ruthless greed of men like corrupt Nigerian exile, Dr Okigbo.
A gripping and original thriller, combining intrigue and action with telling insights into African – European relations and the issue of racial identity.
“A stunning tale encompassing racial and sexual politics, ethics and loyalty … quite an accomplishment”
MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI, 'Time Out'
“Phillips’s writing is charming, cosmopolitan and full of wit. The pace is fast and the action thrilling”
JUSTIN WARSHAW, 'TLS'
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110006499856