A president has been overthrown by a military coup in a nameless country in an unspecified era. The president's barber, chef, and portraitist are imprisoned, with many others, in a remote palace in the hills high above the city center. Before the coup, these three men worked with unquestioning loyalty, serving the president in seemingly benign jobs. Now, forced to serve the country's new leader, they begin to reconsider their role in the old regime.
"dark and not for entertainment"
Ceridwen Dovey's debut novel is a stunning literary achievement and an acute character study of three men held captive after a military coup. All linked closely with the deposed president, the portraitist longs for his pregnant wife, the chef takes solace in preparing meals for the new regime, and the barber lives with the knowledge that he'd often held a razor to the throat of the man responsible for his brother's death.