'Equador' (2003) by Miguel Sousa Tavares (Portuguese journalist and - now - writer) is a stupendous novel, based on the contrast between european metropolitan society and african colonial society, in the very begining of the 20th century. It takes place mostly at the obscure Portuguese Colony of 'São Tomé e Príncipe e São João Baptista de Ajudá', but it starts with the main character, Luís Bernardo Valença, travelling from Lisbon to Vila Viçosa (a portuguese town, summer holliday place for King Charles I of Portugal). There he receives, directly from the King, the position of Governor of São Tomé e Príncipe e São João Baptista de Ajudá, a hardly desirable job, harshened by the impossible mission of making sure to England and to the international community that there is no more slave work in any Portuguese Colony and surely not in that one. The plot develops mildly with descriptions of Luís Bernardo Valença's life in Lisbon, a short yet potentialy harmfull love affaire, his travel to the the impossible islands of which he is to be Governor, and his settling in. Things do accelerate when a designated British Consul for that Portuguese Colony arrives bringing along his dashingly beautiful wife, whom will play a key role in Luís Bernardo Valença's life there. She, as well as the political mission he received from the King, will together precipitate the climax and end of the novel. The writing is very fluid, the story is splendidly constructed, it is a real page-turner in my view. Enjoy!