Brazzaville Beach

by William Boyd

An amazing amount of research must have gone into this book.  Not only does Boyd draw a compelling picture of a marriage of two young people that is going nowhere, despite their best efforts.  He also shows, convincingly, the tensions and rivalries that can develop among a group of people working closely together and remote from the rest of civilisation.

Boyd writes knowledgeably about chimp behaviour and the mechanics of working in the field with these animals. That said, I have no way of knowing whether his story would ring true to working in this area, but I have to assume that his research has been thorough and his understanding sound.

Boyd rarely disappoints – the only book of his that I have not liked was Waiting for Sunset, and this may be because I can never really understand spy stories!