is not glamourous, often dangerous and in the case of Maali Almeida – deadly. Shahan Karunatilaka’s book is brutally honest and tender. Honest? Hang on a minute – it talks about ghosts and ghouls, charms and (black) magic. And about a dead photographer whose ghost is roaming the streets of Colombo and beyond. It is honest because Maali Almeida’s inner world is portrayed in all its complexity and the reader gets an insight into the troubled past and present of Sri Lanka – and with it of the wider world in all its beauty and brutality. I have a soft spot for a mysterious story with lots of twists and turns, and this book hits all the right buttons. It also won the Booker Prize in 2022. Good choice!