Synopses & Reviews
"What infuses Cocaine Nights
is a curious blend of deadpan detachment and almost comical self-consciousness." The New York Times Book Review
"A bristling thriller pastiche." Kirkus Reviews
A bit of metaphysical terrorism as carefully planned and executed as [a] fatal blaze." Washington Post
"[Ballard's] bleak picture of trouble in paradise has the ring of truth." Publishers Weekly
Cocaine Nights comes at you like a conventional 'all-is-not-as-it-seems' whodunit. But all is not as it seems. Under the light crust of gentility lies a familiar Ballard landscape of sociopathic violence, transgressive sex and the inevitable pornographic web that lies in between . . . There is nothing quite like a J. G. Ballard novel.” The Guardian
The setting for Cocaine Nights is the Costa del Sol and the stylish resort of Estrella de Mar. Into the queasy beauty of this artificial environment steps Charles Prentice, a travel writer from London who has come to visit his brother Frank, manager of the resort's Club Nautico.
Frank is in jail, having confessed to setting an explosive fire that has taken five lives. Certain that the confession was coerced, Charles launches his own investigation. As he allows himself to be drawn further into Estrella de Mar's dark underworld, this explosive novel accelerates toward a disturbing climax.
In Cocaine Nights, J. G. Ballard stretches the taught canvas of his transgressive vision over the framework of old-fashioned mystery. The setting: the swank Spanish resort of Estrella de Mar, where young retirees from Europe's chillier climes bask in a lifestyle of endless leisure. Into the queasy beauty of this artificial environment steps Charles Prentice, a London travel writer who has come to visit his brother Frank, manager of Club Nauticotennis and swim club by day, coked-up discotheque by night. Frank is in jail, having confessed to setting an explosive fire that has taken five alive. Certain the confession was coerced, Charles lances his own investigation. But Frank isn't interested in salvation, and the Spanish police don't want their open-and-shut case corrupted by a meddling Brit. Refusing to abandon his crusade, Charles soon finds himself drawn into Estrella de Mar's dark underworld, and as Cocaine Nights accelerates toward its disturbing climax, Ballard once again reveals his visionary mastery.