Magazine article New Internationalist

Refusal Shoes by Tony Saint

Magazine article New Internationalist

Refusal Shoes by Tony Saint

Article excerpt

The premise for Tony Saint's debut novel is extremely promising. Saint is a serving officer in the British Immigration Service and the book is set amid the bustle and chaos of passport control at an unnamed London airport. The central character, Henry Brinks, is a disillusioned immigration officer who desperately tries to avoid the scams and shabby deals his colleagues indulge in. Henry's profoundest wish is to get out of what he sees as a fundamentally corrupt service. However, the suicide of a colleague, the arrival of a Chinese Triad killer and the uncovering of a people-smuggling ring mean that keeping his head down is no longer an option.

Tony Saint clearly knows this grubby world inside out. The book is crammed with telling nuggets of insider information, from the quasi-religious significance of each officer's landing stamp to the meaning behind the title; that entry to Britain is routinely refused for such capricious reasons as wearing the `wrong' sort of shoes. …

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