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Summary

Brought to you by Penguin.

Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2021.

The story of a murder, a miscarriage of justice and a man too innocent for his times....

Mahmood Mattan is a fixture in Cardiff's Tiger Bay, 1952, which bustles with Somali and West Indian sailors, Maltese businessmen and Jewish families. He is a father, chancer, petty criminal. He is a smooth talker with rakish charm and an eye for a good game. He is many things, but he is not a murderer.

So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn't too worried. Since his Welsh wife Laura kicked him out for racking up debts he has wandered the streets more often, and there are witnesses who allegedly saw him enter the shop that night. But Mahmood has escaped worse scrapes, and he is innocent in this country where justice is served. Love lends him immunity too: the fierce love of Laura, who forgives his gambling in a heartbeat, and his children. It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of returning home dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a fight for his life - against conspiracy, prejudice and cruelty - and that the truth may not be enough to save him.

©2021 Nadifa Mohamed (P)2021 Penguin Audio

Critic reviews

"Chilling and utterly compelling, The Fortune Men shines an essential light on a much-neglected period of our national life." (Sathnam Sanghera, author of Empireland)

"A writer of great humanity and intelligence. Nadifa Mohamed deeply understands how lives are shaped both by the grand sweep of history and the intimate encounters of human beings." (Kamila Shamsie, author of Home Fire)

"A novel of tremendous power, compassion and subtlety, it feels unsettlingly timely." (Pankaj Mishra)

What listeners say about The Fortune Men

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Fantastic Novel

Absolutely loved this book. Brilliantly performed and so vividly brought to life. Nadifa has created/built-upon the most nuanced, most detailed realising of a character that I have read in many years. Highly recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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Historical miscarriage of justice

A narrative set in post war Tiger Bay. The story explores the lives of the multicutural community and the experiences of the Somali sailors in a racist society

1 person found this helpful