In an unnamed country on the northern coast of South America, scientist Stanley is deeply embedded in the life of the rainforest. He’s been studying a troop of capuchin monkeys for eight years—seven since his wife, Maria, left him, and their mentor, Professor Collymore, mysteriously disappeared.

The country is preparing for a hotly contested election, which promises to unleash ancient tensions among the populace. Stanley, however, is oblivious to this, focused only on his research and his conviction that Maria will one day come back to him. But then his research is violently threatened: one of his beloved monkeys goes missing, and then another. Something is killing them, one by one. Stanley decides to take matters into his own hands, but soon learns that there are forces in the jungle as difficult to quell as the spirit of rebellion brewing in the south. Soon, Stanley finds everything he holds dear—his livelihood, his monkeys, his very life—in danger. 

The Jungle South of the Mountain is a powerful, brilliantly imagined novel about the stories we believe, the lies we tell and the choices we make to protect what we love.


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A fascinating read, beautifully written and with a gripping story.
— S.J. Watson, bestselling author of Before I Go To Sleep
A captivating story, set in an original and fascinating world rich in authentic detail.
— Cecilia Ekbäck, author of Wolf Winter
With compelling realism, recalling both Graham Greene and Joseph Conrad, Andrew Westoll tells a riveting story of loss and redemption in the jungles of South America.
— Yann Martel, Booker Prize-winning author
In The Jungle South of the Mountain, Andrew Westoll drops his readers into the depths of the rainforest with Stanley, a primatologist obsessed with the capuchin monkeys he studies. From there, an intricate story emerges, weaving Stanley’s work into the growing personal and political turmoil from which he cannot escape. Drawn into sharp focus by Westoll’s beautiful writing, the jungle and its animal inhabitants become characters in their own right, and the reader will at once cheer for Stanley while questioning every choice he makes and every memory he recounts. This is a haunting story so impressively told; an evocative and absorbing first novel.
— Amy Stuart, bestselling author of Still Mine
The Jungle South of the Mountain is a gripping study of foreignness, whether it be within relationships, geographies, or even between species. Andrew Westoll’s first novel is as engaging as it is thoughtful.
— Andrew Pyper, author of The Damned and The Demonologist