When the economy of his small South American country collapses, President Veracruz joins his improbable populace of ex-soldiers, former guerillas, unfrocked priests and reformed - though by no means inactive - whores, in a bizarre search for sexual fulfilment. But for Cardinal Guzman, a man tormented by his own private demons, their stupendous, hedonistic fiestas represent the epicentre of all heresies. Heresies that must be challenged with a horrifying new inquisition destined to climax in a spectacular confrontation. . .
Louis de Bernieres is the bestselling author of Captain Corelli's Mandolin, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize, Best Book in 1995. His most recent books are The Dust That Falls From Dreams, Birds Without Wings and A Partisan's Daughter, a collection of stories, Notwithstanding, and two collections of poetry, Imagining Alexandria and Of Love and Desire.