'Lowell tries not to think about the past, about the hijacking that killed his mother. Samantha, on the other hand, cannot let go. As a child she survived the hijacking of Air France 64, and as an adult she obsessively digs for answers, seeking a man called Salamander whom she believes holds key information.
'It is the death of Lowell's father, and his legacy of a blue sports bag crammed with documents and videotapes, that finally brings Lowell and Samantha together and unravels the interconnections between victims and perpetrators, saved and damned.
'But in this murky world of endless aliases and surveillance, who can be trusted? When does the quest for truth become a dangerous obsession? And what difference can the truth make?
'Janette Turner Hospital has crafted a taut and confronting novel that propels us into the chaos of terror and the cruelty - and unexpected hope - of survival. ' (Publication summary)
I have often asked myself what I mean by preparations for the plague...and I think that preparations for the plague are preparations for death. But what is it to make preparations for death? or what preparations are proper to be make for death?
–Daniel Defoe, Due Preparations for the Plague (1722)
To state quite simply what we learn in a time of pestilence: that there are more things to admire in men than to despise.
–Albert Camus, The Plague.