John le Carré often writes about conforming, compromised men who are inspired by the love of a woman to fight corruption and otherwise do brave/humanitarian things. This one is set in Africa, mainly Nairobi, and the corruption involves international pharmaceutical corporations. The man is Justin, a British diplomat. The woman is Tessa, his wife, an aid activist.
Is it based on reality? The author's note (which was not included on the audio CD) includes the following statement: "As my journey through the pharmaceutical jungle progressed, (in which a number of people were murdered, others killed with experimental drugs, and governments and universities corrupted), I came to realise that, by comparison with the reality, my story was as tame as a holiday postcard."
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