When an overcrowded dinghy capsizes at sea, a doctor is among those refugees thrown overboard. In the ensuing panic, he saves one life and condemns another. The doctor and the boy he has saved - the only surviving witness to the crime - eventually reach a tiny Greek island where they are offered shelter by the owner of a small travelling circus, itself
marooned in the off-season. Debt-ridden, the circus owner knows that his most valuable asset is an Asian elephant, far from her natural habitat but lovingly tended by the owner's wife even as she mourns their 10-year old daughter.
As the refugees await a long-deferred ferry to take them onto the next stage of their journey, the doctor is drawn to his host's wife, all the while keeping his young companion, who loves him fervently, at arm's length.
Paperback, 224 pages. Size: 19.8cm x 22.9cm. ISBN: 978 1 912408 276
PANOS KARNEZIS was born in Greece and came to the UK in 1992 to study for a PhD in Engineering. While working at Rolls Royce and then at British Steel, he started writing fiction. He was offered a place on the University of East Anglia's MA in Creative Writing and he gave up his engineering career. His first novel, The Maze, started at UEA, was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel Award. Three further novels followed - The Birthday Party, The Convent and The
Fugitives - and a collection of stories, Little Infamies. His work is translated into 20 languages. He lives in Wimbledon, London.