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'Ten million dollars if he performed a miracle and brought the boy back alive, five million dollars if he came back with just the body, and another five million if he dragged the killers in with it. Those were the terms, and, if he chose to accept them, that was the deal'
Ex-cop, ex-PI and now ex-con Max Mingus doesn't want to take the case. It means going to Haiti, a lawless island of voodoo and black magic and home to a monster they call Mr Clarinet. In searching for the missing boy - alive or dead - Max could lose his life or suffer a fate far worse. But a man who has nothing will risk a lot for ten million dollars . . .
'Terrifying, exhilarating, breathlessly compelling' Daily Express
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Winner of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award, the International Thriller Writers Award and the Mcavity Award for Best First Novel
Miami, 1981. When Detective Max Mingus and his partner Joe are called to the scene of a death at Miami's Primate Park, it looks like another routine — if slightly bizarre — investigation. Until two things turn up: the victim's family, slaughtered; and a partly digested tarot card in the dead man's stomach. The King of Swords.
An increasingly bloody trail leads Max and Joe first to a sinister fortune-teller and her scheming pimp son, then to the infamous Solomon Boukman. Few have ever met the most feared criminal in Miami, but rumours abound of a forked tongue, voodoo ceremonies and friends in very high places.
Against a backdrop of black magic and police corruption, Max and Joe must distinguish the good guys from the bad - and track down some answers. What is the significance of the King of Swords? What makes those who have swallowed the card go on a killing spree just before they die? And can Max find out the truth about Solomon Boukman, before death's shadow reaches his own front door...?
Nick Stone was born in Cambridge in 1966. His father is the historian Norman Stone, and his mother descends from one of Haiti’s oldest families, the Aubrys. Nick spent his early years in Haiti, before returning to England to finish his schooling. As a teenager he took up boxing, but gave it up when he won a place to read history at Cambridge.
Mr Clarinet is his first novel and was awarded the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger by the Crime Writers' Association for best thriller of 2006.
He is married and lives in London.