Sick slaves in the Middle Passage were not infrequently thrown overboard with the dead since they would fetch more in insurance as "goods lost at sea" than at the auction block. In 1783 a scandal broke around the slave ship "Zong", the crew of which had ditched 132 "livestock" in the Atlantic. From this chilling scrap of history, Fred D'Aguiar has fashioned a rich and compelling novel . . . it has both suspense and poetic resonance. The fatal voyage is powerfully imagined, using muscular, elemental imagery of sea, wind, salt, wood, rope, broken bodies and a bloodied wake. Fast moving, compelling and troubling.