Thursday, March 18, 2010

My Favorite Reads #11: THE LEMUR by Benjamin Black

Alyce of At Home with Books hosts My Favorite Reads, a weekly feature spotlighting favorite reads from pre-blogging days. Because it's been a while since the books were read, these posts are not reviews per se, but rather impressionistic remembrances of a positive reading experience. I think of this feature as an opportunity to more deeply explore the range of my reading interests and those of other book bloggers and readers of book blogs outside of the current crop of new releases.

Do you have an old favorite that you'd like to share?

June 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-42808-2
ISBN10: 0-312-42808-1
5-1/2 x 8-1/4 inches
144 pages

Description (from the publisher):
John Glass's life in New York should be plenty comfortable. He's given up his career as a journalist to write an authorized biography of his father-in-law, communications magnate and former CIA agent Big Bill Mulholland. He works in a big office in Mulholland Tower, rent-free, and goes home (most nights) to his wealthy and well-preserved wife, Wild Bill's daughter. He misses his old life sometimes, but all in all things have turned out well.

But when his shifty young researcher--a man he calls "The Lemur"--turns up some unflattering information about the family, Glass's whole easy existence is threatened. Then the young man is murdered, and it's up to Glass to find out what The Lemur knew, and who killed him, before any secrets come out--and before any other bodies appear.

Shifting from 1950s Dublin to contemporary New York, the masterful crime writer Benjamin Black returns in this standalone thriller--a story of family secrets so deep, and so dangerous, that anyone might kill to keep them hidden.

Why I chose this book:
I read THE LEMUR back in September of 2008, and this taut literary thriller continues to haunt me.  It's classic noir. If you like fiction that has you teetering along the edge of an abyss, this is a novel you don't want to miss. Here's part of what I wrote in my 2008 review for the Library Thing Early Reviewers Program:

"That cloud on the cover is NOT cigarette smoke -- it's the oppressive haze of despairing hopelessness that weights the entire novel. It's short; which is good because much more would be suffocating. The writing is elegantly beautiful. And -- dare I say? -- it packs a wallop! Highly recommended."
Click here to read an excerpt.

Click here to visit the author's website.

About the author (from the publisher):
Benjamin Black is the pen name of John Banville, who was born in Wexford, Ireland, in 1945. His novels have won numerous awards, mostly recently the Man Booker Prize in 2005 for The Sea. Under the name Benjamin Black he is also the author of Christine Falls and The Silver Swan. He lives in Dublin.


bermudaonion said...

That sounds like quite a page turner!

Alyce said...

This is not the type of novel that I'm normally drawn to, but something about this storyline draws me (maybe it's the secrets, or the combination of Dublin and New York stories).

Zibilee said...

Oh, I loved your review on this book and think it sounds like an awesome read! I haven't read much in the way of noir, but I think I'd really like to try this one. Thanks for spotlighting this one!

Anonymous said...

I've read John Banville's The Sea and enjoyed it and this review of The Lemur is particularly intriguing so I'll put it on my list of must reads! Thanks for the great tip.


misskallie2000 said...

Great review. Book sounds very good.

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com