“When your life vanishes, how do you do anything but follow it?”
Haunted by guilt and reeling from his shattered marriage, New York photographer Ethan flees south to a Central American country on the brink of revolution. Ethan doesn’t know if he’s seeking redemption or punishment, but—one bad choice after another—he finds himself indebted to Yolanda, who gives him a chance, if anything she’s saying is true, to find both.
Yolanda’s sister is deep in the country’s interior, waiting for a man named Soto—a slave trafficker posing as a migrant guide. The journey to find her plunges Ethan into a feverish world of demented expatriates, intelligence officers, mystics and lunatics, where loyalties are uncertain and ghosts unshakable.
A harrowing examination of post-colonial blight, Horse Latitudes is a lushly written tropical gothic—part thriller, part nightmarish journey into the corruption at the heart of US intervention in Central America.
PRAISE FOR HORSE LATITUDES
“Vivid in the visual detail a photographer would gather, Collins’s politically complex and psychologically intense tale demands the reader’s complete submersion in a decaying world in which the lines between good and evil sway and vanish…Though the plot twists like that of a thriller and authentic characters keep the story moving, Collins’s underlying theme of why choices are made and their consequences makes for a philosophically compelling read.”
“This is the best debut novel of the year, hands down. Comparisons to Joseph Conrad, Graham Greene and Malcolm Lowry practically write themselves, but Horse Latitudes also calls to mind such modern noir greats as James Crumley and Kem Nunn. Ethan’s story is a febrile journey into an unknown landscape, a table-side seat at a game of Russian roulette that has no winners. It’s also erudite, funny and sexy as hell.”
—Rebecca Oppenheimer, Kramerbooks
“In the best tradition of Joseph Conrad’s Lord Jim and Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, Morris Collins’s Horse Latitudes is a remarkable debut novel, detailing one man’s quest for redemption through a quixotic adventure in Central America, couched in brilliant, bold lyricism, flavored with heartbreak and danger. Fast-paced and hypnotic, it holds you in its spell and won’t let go, leaving images like exotic souvenirs in its wake.”
—William J. Cobb, author of The Bird Saviors
“Morris Collins’s Horse Latitudes reads like a Graham Greene novel for the twenty-first century, reinventing the citizen abroad for a new global age, one where the quest for redemption and righteousness still rarely leads to clarity, only cloudier choices, unfair outcomes, darker ambiguities. Ambitious and striking, Horse Latitudes delivers, offering readers an adventurous moral thriller–and a truly powerful debut.”
—Matt Bell, author of In the House upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods