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, some-time petty thief. He is many things, in fact, but he is not a murderer.
So when a shopkeeper is brutally killed and all eyes fall on him, Mahmood isn't too worried. It is true that he has been getting into trouble more often since his Welsh wife Laura left him. But Mahmood is secure in his innocence in a country where, he thinks, justice is served.
It is only in the run-up to the trial, as the prospect of freedom dwindles, that it will dawn on Mahmood that he is in a terrifying fight for his life - against conspiracy, prejudice and the inhumanity of the state. And, under the shadow of the hangman's noose, he begins to realise that the truth may not be enough to save him.
***PRAISE FOR NADIFA MOHAMED***
'A moving and captivating tale of survival and hope . . . confirms Mohamed's stature as one of Britain's best young novelists' Stylist, on The Orchard of Lost Souls
'Mixing startling lyricism and sheer brutality . . . [Black Mamba Boy] is a significant, affecting book' Guardian
'With the unadorned language of a wise, clear-eyed observer, Nadifa Mohamed has spun an unforgettable tale' Taiye Selasi, on The Orchard of Lost Souls