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By William Boyd

William Boyd’s masterful new novel tells, in a chain of intimate journals, the tale of Logan Mountstuart—writer, lover, paintings broker, spy—as he makes his usually precarious means in the course of the 20th century.

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Rumours do swirl round the point out of his identify: that he was once a private good friend of Goering; that he used to be development a Nazi U-boat pen on Hog Island; that he owns a financial institution in Mexico urban. I cross all of it on, duly tagged as hypothesis, to NID. eventually there's one other global – person who is the main populous and, in a paradoxical means, the main invisible: the local Bahamians themselves. so much of them are negative labourers or fishermen who stay in a sprawling shanty over the ridge from executive apartment referred to as Grant’s city. the color bar is nearly absolute within the Bahamas – definitely in social phrases (even the Duchess’s ‘canteen for the troops’ is segregated). I’m instructed the code is as inflexible as within the southern states of the US. Any softening of attitudes the following within the Bahamas, it's argued, may discourage the yankee travelers. Even in executive condominium no black is permitted during the entrance door. these types of worlds have interaction to a undeniable measure – most manifestly at govt condo receptions (though the one blacks are serving canapés). I’m a typical at those services and that i watch the gang rigorously and discreetly glean info – everyone is very impending. i must say the Duke and Duchess go through their site visitors serenely and smilingly, as though there have been nowhere else on the earth that they'd otherwise be, and in no different corporation. The performing is faultless. they're away in the intervening time in Miami. McStay is begging to be allowed to place out to sea. The 1122 is the neatest, cleanest, so much polished boat in Nassau harbour. Sunday, 20 December We experience at anchor off a small island within the Exuma chain. On deck the boys fish and swim. The sunlight beats down out of a washed-out blue sky. We look very faraway from the battle. Freya writes to claim we now have retaken Benghazi and Soviet forces have encircled the German military at Stalingrad. The unhappiest guy on the planet is Crawford McStay. 1943 Friday, 1 January final evening I went to a brand new Year’s social gathering at Cable seashore given by way of a tender widow known as Dorothy Bookbinder (American). there has been a band and poo from eight. 00 until eventually dead night and past. Dorothy – in her forties, blowzy, a inebriated, i assume – resides with the ‘Marquis’ de Saussay – of French extraction, i'd say, instead of French. Dorothy has a daughter (Nineteen? Twenty-two? ) referred to as Lulu who made a beeline for me because the clock struck twelve and planted a protracted rainy kiss on my lips. I shook her off and went all the way down to the seashore and checked out the celebrities and thought of Freya. Lulu discovered me and candidly propositioned me: ‘Why won’t you fuck me, Logan? ’ ‘Because I don’t fucking wish to,’ I acknowledged. Then she fell over, lifeless inebriated. So I carried her again and laid her on a cane couch at the terrace and slipped away. information from executive home is that the Duchess is ill – exhausted, laid low with her ulcer. i believe I’ll permit McStay take the 1122 off to the Out Islands for a couple of days. Nassau is commencing to get to me in addition. Thursday, 14 January I wrote up my 3rd document for NID and took it out to Oakes box and gave it to [Squadron chief] Snow (he flies it to Miami and a person takes it to long island and from there it reaches NID).

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