Tuesday, December 09, 2014

What is Sebastian Rotella reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Sebastian Rotella, author of The Convert's Song.

His entry begins:
I alternate among English-language and foreign authors. I try to maintain the foreign languages I speak by reading in the original, even if it induces a headache. There’s a lot of treacherous translation out there. Here are some recent travels in fiction.

A while back I was invited to Festival America, a wonderful literary event in Vincennes outside Paris. I picked up a French book called Arab Jazz, by Karim Miske. It’s a crime novel that takes place in a neighborhood of northeast Paris I know from my work as a foreign correspondent. Fascinating turf: a mix of yuppies, bohemians and immigrants, tough housing projects and hip cafes. In the book, a wild-eyed crew of Islamic extremists, Orthodox Jews and Jehovah’s Witnesses get tangled up in a ritualistic murder, police corruption and the trafficking of a designer super-drug. The main protagonist is a troubled young Moroccan immigrant who reads crime novels all day. I enjoyed Miske’s command of sub-cultures and slang. This subject matter, the new France-in-the-making, is...[read on]
About The Convert's Song, from the publisher:
A global manhunt sweeps up a former federal agent when his childhood friend becomes the chief suspect in a terrorist rampage.

His hazardous stint in U.S. law enforcement behind him, Valentine Pescatore has started over as a private investigator in Buenos Aires. Then he runs into a long-lost friend: Raymond Mercer, a charismatic, troubled singer who has converted to Islam. After a terrorist attack kills hundreds, suspicion falls on Raymond—and Pescatore.

Angry and bewildered, Pescatore joins forces with Fatima Belhaj, an alluring French agent. They pursue the enigmatic Raymond into a global labyrinth of intrigue. Is he a terrorist, a gangster, a spy? Is his loyalty to Pescatore genuine, or just another lethal scam?

From the jungles of South America to the streets of Paris to the battlegrounds of Baghdad, The Convert’s Song leads Pescatore on a race to stop a high-stakes campaign of terror.
Learn more about The Convert's Song at the Mulholland Books website.

Writers Read: Sebastian Rotella.

--Marshal Zeringue