‘Is Ballard our best novelist? Perhaps.
He’s certainly the most interesting, the one whose account of the last half of this century has the most to tell us’ New Statesman & Society
To an outsider, the retired British residents of the Spanish coastal resort of Estrella de Mar belong to an idyllic community, enjoying a lifestyle of constant cultural and sporting activity – based around the thriving Club Nautico. But the image is shattered when five people die in a mysterious housefire during a party attended by members of the club, and the club’s manager, Frank Prentice, is arrested for murder.
Arriving on the scene, his brother Charles is shocked to find that, though not even the police believe him capable of the crime, Frank is determined to plead guilty. If he is to understand his brother’s attitude, Charles senses that he must first unravel the mysteries of Estrella de Mar. For beneath the civilised surface lies a secret world of crime, drugs and illicit sex, orchestrated by a charismatic Pied Piper figure, whose dark influence is spreading with alarming speed.
J.G. Ballard is widely recognised as one of this country’s most brilliant and distinctive novelists – at the forefront of modern British fiction writing for over three decades. Now, drawing on the beguiling storytelling skills behind compelling novels like Empire of the Sun and Rushing to Paradise, and the imagination that produced such startlingly original works as The Crystal World, Crash and High-Rise, he has created Cocaine Nights – at once an engrossing mystery and an unnerving vision of a society coming to terms with a life of unlimited leisure.