On the run from unjust court-martial back home, a young British soldier gets robbed and shot on Copacabana Beach. The bullet in Jake’s head should have killed him but, miraculously, it saves him from a previously undetected brain aneurysm that soon would have killed him.
Jake doesn’t believe in fate, nor does he feel he owes anything to anybody, but he does hate injustice, and the favela kid that fired the bullet is a victim of injustice. Named Vilson, the teenage kid is in a corner with corrupt cops and a sadistic drug-lord after his blood. Jake was at his best in combat, he is not so great at being a civilian. His career was destroyed by a compulsion to fly in the face of authority, and Brazil was meant to be a clean break. But anger is never far from the surface, and it drives him into Vilson’s brutal world, intent on getting him out. If he can just save Vilson, maybe he can finally purge some of his own demons.
With a turf war erupting between drug gangs and corrupt cops for control of Vilson’s favela, fear stalks every narrow alleyway. And anyone dragged up to the notorious Burning Hill had better hope they’re dead before they get there. But it’s not just fear that shapes life in the favela, belief is also powerful, able to both save and destroy. When Jake rescues Vilson from execution on the Burning Hill and spirits him away from the favela, Vilson is convinced that he is finally on the path to his destiny, having clung to a promise made to him in childhood.
When it turns to dust he becomes someone else, something else. From timid kid to vengeful killer, he becomes known as the Ghost when he returns to the superstitious favela. Jake refuses to give up on a kid seemingly beyond saving and, in a final conflict on the Burning Hill, he is faced with a choice that could push him to the dark edges of society forever. The Burning Hill is about the power of belief and one man’s compulsion to get justice at any cost.
Set in the favelas of Brazil, this is the tale of Vilson, a young man, abandoned by his mother as a small child with his elder brother, Gabriel.
The boys are chased by cops, shots are fired and Vilson survives, with only his friend Babão.
Jake, a soldier, hiding in Brazil from an unjust court-martial, trying to blend in and disappear.
One night, Vilson and Babão rob Jake at gunpoint but the gun goes off by accident. Jake survives, but the gunshot had actually saved his life, as doctors found an aneurysm which could have killed him any time.
The boys run away from the scene, but get chased by cops and Babão is shot…..a lawyer witnesses this but the cops send her away.
Vilson returns to their shack, to await Babão’s return….but a local gang leader visits him and wants his money…..or else.
Can Eliane, the lawyer, convince Jake, the boys need his help….
This is an incredible novel, it tells of the harsh life of these street children in deprived areas of the favelas in Brazil. Not only do they have to deal with the everyday struggle, they have death squads, roaming the streets to kill the children to get them off the street and the gangs fighting to keep control. They live in constant fear.
The characters are so well written, I had every sympathy for Vilson, a victim of circumstances. Jake, while disgraced In the UK, he really cares about the situation here and tries his best to help and the corrupt cop Nogueira is just abhorrent.
You really do get emotionally involved in this tale and that’s all credit to A.D. Flint’s creative, immersive writing. A tale of dreams, belief and justice. Absolutely stunning.
Thank you to Anne Cater and Random Things Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free copy of the book. This is my honest, unbiased review.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
The idea for the story came from a robbery the author saw when he lived in Brazil that had a link with the massacre of street children outside a Rio church years earlier. What played out in the aftermath of the robbery on live TV news was an embodiment of the desperation of life at the bottom of the heap, and shocked a society inured to everyday violence.
The story also explores how the fusion of religions like Candomblé and Umbanda with Catholicism can create powerful beliefs.
The author now lives on the south coast of England with his Brazilian wife, two boys and an excitable dog. His next novel is about a cult, set in Guyana, where he previously worked in the sugar industry.