‘For me life hasn’t got dreams, success and all that damn nonsense. Life is full of shadows: some of them soft and others conceal a hammer.’
Galton Flood is a lonely man, restless and ill at ease with his family. He leaves his home in Guyana’s capital, Georgetown, for a remote township, and the first of a string of precarious jobs. Meeting Gemma, his landlord’s daughter, appears to offer a first chance of meaningful connection – maybe even happiness. But there is a darkness inside Galton, and soon jealousy and paranoia lead him to fatally, violently unravel.
With this haunting portrait of a mind undone, celebrated Guyanese writer Roy Heath evocatively recreates the country of his youth: its rivers, townships and tenement yards, and the tensions shimmering below the surface of a community.
A beautiful writer and an unforgettable book. -- Salman Rushdie The Murderer, Roy Heath's masterpiece, is written with immediacy and precision. In a few sentences, Heath creates a psychological tension that is totally convincing and gripping. Slowly, as the main character grows more obsessed and distant from others, he also becomes more complex and fascinating and memorable. -- Colm Toibin A character who might have been created by Dostoevsky. -- Spectator A picture of a lost soul emerges that is mysteriously authentic and unique as a work of art. -- Observer A hauntingly powerful story. -- New York Times A notable study of paranoia, remarkable for its psychological insight and the restraint of its climax. * The Guardian * Guyanese authors are a radiant constellation, and Roy Heath stands rightfully among them. His unique style stands out from others of his time, and ours. -- Lemn Sissay The prose style is graceful, old-fashioned, almost Latinate. The dialogue on the other hand, is pure Guyanese vernacular, and the gap between the two, between the sense of distance in the prose and intimacy in the dialogue, makes the novel chilling and tense and deeply original. -- Colm Toibin and Carmen Callil, '200 Best Novels in English since 1950', The Modern Library This enthralling novel plunges the reader into a painting by Van Gogh, a swirl of emotion unhinged from a verifiable reality. Or is it a portrait of a mind seen through a glass darkly? Heath takes his time to distinguish fantasy from delusion, play from mental decay... The Murderer is numbered among the Caribbean's leading psychological novels, a nuanced portrait of the disintegrating individual psyche. -- Fred D'Aguiar
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