Lawrence Osborne

On Java Road
  • On Java Road

  • A veteran British journalist living in Hong Kong investigates the ominous disappearance of a student protestor amidst the pro-democracy demonstrations in this atmospheric new novel from the critically acclaimed author of The Forgiven (soon to be a major motion picture starring Ralph Fiennes and Jessica Chastain)

    There came a sound of rubber bullets being fired along Java Road and the sad crowing of sirens as if to herald a future even more unpleasant than the present...

    After twenty years as a down-at-heel reporter in Hong Kong, ex-pat Englishman Adrian Gyle has very little to show for it. Evenings are whiled away with soupy dumplings and tea at Fung Shing, the restaurant downstairs from his home on Java Road, that 'most melancholy street in the city, the street where the dead congregated.' It is through these jaded eyes that Gyle watches the city around him - once overflowing with wine dinners and private members' clubs - erupt in violence as pro-democracy demonstrations threaten old certainties and hit ever closer to home.

    But just as Gyle prepares to turn his back on Hong Kong, he finds one last intrigue: the alluring Rebecca, the new girlfriend of one of his oldest friends, and a student involved in the protests. When her body mysteriously turns up in the local morgue, Gyle finds that old familiar urge to investigate.

    As he pieces together Rebecca's final days and hours, Gyle must tread carefully through a volatile world of truth and betrayal. On Java Road is a search for a missing woman in a vanishing city, and a man between cultures, old worlds and new dawns.

Born in England, Lawrence Osborne is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Forgiven, The Ballad of a Small Player, Hunters in the Dark, Beautiful Animals, Only to Sleep: A Philip Marlowe novel (commissioned by the Raymond Chandler estate) and The Glass Kingdom. His non-fiction ranges from memoir through travelogue to essays, including Bangkok Days, Paris Dreambook and The Wet and the Dry. His short story 'Volcano' was selected for Best American Short Stories 2012. The Forgiven, starring Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith and Jessica Chastain, premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2021; Hunters in the Dark will shoot in Cambodia with Aneurin Barnard, Adam Pettyfer and Tzi Ma; and Beautiful Animals is now in production with Amazon. Osborne lives in Bangkok.

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