Sarah is in prison. Every fortnight she is visited by George, the private eye she employed to observe the final stage of her husband's affair. The visits - and the days between - lead George back into Sarah's past and into events he can picture only too well, while bringing him ever closer to a time he can't quite imagine - when she will once ...
Sarah is in prison. Every fortnight she is visited by George, the private eye she employed to observe the final stage of her husband's affair. The visits - and the days between - lead George back into Sarah's past and into events he can picture only too well, while bringing him ever closer to a time he can't quite imagine - when she will once again step out into the clear light of day...This is a brilliant tale of love, murder and suspense, from one of Britain's finest writers.
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Publishers Weekly, 2003-03-31 George Webb, a divorced ex-cop and the narrator of this fine novel, works as a private investigator in London specializing in "matrimonial work": finding evidence of philandering. Some of the tearful women who enter his office become lovers (one, Rita, becomes his heart-of-gold assistant), but Sarah Nash becomes something altogether different. A language teacher and translator, she wants Webb to follow her husband and his lover, Kristina Lazic, a refugee taken in by the Nashes, to the airport "to see if she really goes"-alone-back to Croatia. Sarah knows the truth of the affair already; she's just looking for a sign that her husband can love her again. But the story belongs to Webb, through a masterful interior monologue that links the action of the present with a meditation on the past. Webb's movements on a particular day in November furnish the opportunity to learn about his childhood, his failed marriage, his career as a policeman terminated by a minor scandal and his constrained and lonely life. Sarah becomes Webb's opportunity for a second chance at happiness and redemption. But that reality will have to wait until her release from prison (it's not giving away the plot to note her crime: the murder of her husband). While this story sounds a bit like an American noir thriller from the 1930s (and Swift's title may be a nod to the noir fascination with night and shadow), the Booker Prize-winning author (for Last Orders) is after bigger themes: the weight of history, the role of fate, the inexplicable vagaries of love. Though perhaps not at the level of Last Orders, this beautifully written novel is a worthwhile addition to the Swift canon. (May 5) Forecast: It's been nearly seven years since the publication of Last Orders, and an expectant readership may well justify Knopf's 75,000 first printing. Lovely cover art won't hurt. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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