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The Mission Song by John Le Carre

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Bruno Salvador, known to friends and enemies alike as Salvo, is the orphaned love-child of a Catholic missionary and a Congolese headman's daughter. Educated first at a mission school in the East Congolese province of Kivu and later at a discreet sanctuary for the secret sons of Rome, Salvo is inspired by his mentor to train as a professional interpreter in the minority African languages.

Soon a rising star in his profession, he is courted by corporations, hospitals, law courts, the Immigration services and - inevitably - the mushrooming overworld of British Intelligence. Dispatched to a no-name island in the North Sea to attend a top-secret meeting between Western financiers and East Congolese warlords, Salvo is obliged to interpret matters never intended for his reawakened African conscience.

By turn thriller, love story and comic allegory of our times, The Mission Song recounts Salvo's heroically naive journey out of the dark of Western hypocrisy and into the heart of lightness.