Longlisted for the Booker Prize 2022. Colombo, 1989. Maali Almeida, war photographer, gambler and closet queen, has woken up dead in an afterlife redolent of a post-colonial passport office. His dismembered body is sinking in the serene Beira lake and he has no idea who killed him. In a country where scores are settled by death squads, lynch mobs, suicide bombs and hired goons, the list of suspects is depressingly long. Ghouls and ghosts with grudges cluster around, but he has no time to chat with the dead. He needs to contact the living.