GHOST LIGHT by Joseph Oâ€™Connor is a brilliant and complex book. It is one of the best books I have read in the last five years. The language is poetic and hallucinatory and this is a book where one can’t skip passages or lines. Every word is necessary and the whole is a gift put together with the greatest care and love.
Cremona, Italy. On the eve of an important performance, local luthier Gianni Castiglione is called on to examine Il Cannone, the violin once played by NiccolĂ˛ Paganini, which would be played that night by competition winner Yevgeny Ivanov. A minor adjustment is made and at the recital both violin and musician perform flawlessly. The next day, however, a concert attendee, a French art dealer, is found dead in his Cremona hotel. Two items are noted among his possessions: a locked golden box and a torn corner of a music score from the nightâ€™s previous performance. Gianniâ€™s police detective friend, Antonio Guastafeste, enlists his help and the two soon find themselves on an international chase, on the trail of not just a murderer but of a priceless historical treasure, one worth killing for.
Prolific mystery writer Ruth Rendellâ€™s work can be divided into two categories: the Inspector Wexford novels and her psychological novels. PORTOBELLO falls into the latter category and fans of Ruth Rendell know what to expect. The novel concentrates on the poisoned lives of a handful of characters who are connected to Londonâ€™s Portobello Road, and these characters are as varied and colourful as the district itself. Rendell brings her characters together with her usual skill–although the heavy reliance on coincidence argues against the idea that London is, after all, a city of millions of people.
If youâ€™ve got a hot work project with an overdue deadline, a soccer game that you simply must attend, or any â€śmust doâ€ť commitments in the next couple of days, whatever you do, DONâ€™T pick up this book. It will grip you, entice you, and place you under its spell. And in the end, it just may break your heart.
Sebastian Faulks is nothing if not ambitious. In his latest book, a sweeping and piercing satire about contemporary London, Mr. Faulks takes on everything from the financial meltdown and the profusion of silly book awards to shockingly offensive reality TV, cyber porn, London football, and, for good measure, Islamic radicalism. The good news is, for the most part, he succeeds admirably.
The eminent, award-winning British Author, Rose Tremain, has written another lovely book. THE ROAD HOME is about Lev, an eastern European immigrant and his travails and successes in the big city of London. Lev is a widower who has left his child with his mother in Auror, a small town in eastern Europe. Lev hopes to seek his fortune in London, expecting to make a lot of money and be able to send it home to support his family. He has arrived in London with about 100 pounds in his pocket and nothing else.