The extraordinary story of parallel journeys, 100 years apart, into the heart of Latin America, for fans of Sandra Cisneros's Caramelo, Tim Butcher's Blood River, and Bruce Chatwin As a child, Robin Bayley was enchanted by his grandmother's stories of Mexican adventuresof bandits, wild jungle journeys, hidden bags of silver, and a narrow escape from the bloody Mexican Revolution. But Robin sensed there was more to these stories than anyone knew, and so he set out to follow in the footsteps of his great-grandfather. Undaunted by the passage of time and a paucity of information, Robin seeks out the places where his great-grandfather Arthur "Arturo" Greenhalgh traveled and lived, determined to uncover his legacy. Along the road Robin encounters witches, drug dealers, a gun-toting Tasmanian Devil, and an ex-Nazi diamond trader. He is threatened with deportation, offered the protection of Colombian guerrilla fighters, and comforted by the blessings of los santos. He falls in love with a beautiful Guatemalan girl with mystical powers and almost gives up his quest, until a sense of destiny drives him on to western Mexico and the discovery of much, much more than he had bargained for.
"Sharply observed, very funny, and infused with the longings and possibilities of the road, it's a succulent tale." * Wanderlust * "Cleverly constructed, well paced and very exciting. I like the way Robin Bayley balances two strands of narrative - the family quest and the travelogue. Bayley has a vivid, uncluttered style which is excellent at conveying both mood and sense of place." * Andrew Lycett, author of 'Ian Fleming: The Man Behind James Bond' and 'The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle' * "A fine romance in every sense of the word" * The Times * "Bayley unpicks the story of his ancestor's adventures with much skill and persistence. He has a fine ear for dialogue with a Tarantino-style, comic-book delivery, and the ending, in which he tries to reconcile his elderly grandmother to the truth about her father, is genuinely affecting." -- Hugh Thomson * Independent * "Bayley ... eloquently marshals the glittering elements of a very personal story with a hefty dose of topical history that always homes back to the paths of two men's journeys, taking place a century apart. This is filled with the sights and smells of a very Latino journey, and a healthy dose of wanderlust and the thrill of the open road." * Irish Times *