Snakepit by Moses Isegawa Picador $208 Set in late-1970s Uganda at the chaotic end of Idi Amin's rule, Snakepit is a gritty portrait of an imploding country. It was a time of corruption, decadence, personal vendettas and senseless, often arbitrary, violence. On completing his studies at Cambridge, Bat Katanga returns to Uganda, seeing it as a land of opportunity, especially because the recent expulsion of foreigners has left open many civil service jobs. He's employed as a bureaucrat by the despotic General Bazooka, but soon finds himself a pawn in a wider battle for control. When he's coerced into taking a bribe from a Saudi prince, he begins a journey into the darkest realms of Amin's reign. His life slowly unravels, alongside those of everyone around him. Snakepit is full of visceral, graphic language and acts of premeditated violence.