The phrase 'literary thriller' is at times too loosely applied, but Carson's book is a 'true' example of the form at the stage of saturation. It is exhilarating and yet, in its entirely masculine and asexual world, melancholy... Exchange Place is a treat which shows that, if meaning is not to be had, then there is always the next thing and the one after that, in a meantime that is both the prison and liberation of the rememberer. --Times Literary Supplement
Carson is a conjurer with language ... His eye lights on an astonishing miscellany of fact and fantasy, but remains sharply focused throughout. --Erica Wagner, The Times
‘He took out his watch and looked at it. He rested for one minute as timed on his watch. He opened the briefcase and took out a passport and a pair of spectacles. He put the spectacles on and looked at the passport, and realised he was the man in the picture. A gunshot rang out.’
Part thriller, part spy novel, Exchange Place is set between Belfast and Paris and tracks the individual movements of two men, John Kilfeather and John Kilpatrick, who are trying to solve a mystery concerning a lost friend, a missing notebook and a gun.
But this is no ordinary mystery and the usual rules don’t apply. Appearances are deceptive; identities dissolve, become slippery; and it’s easy to lose track of who you are in the winding streets and passageways of the city.
As the paths of Kilpatrick and Kilfeather slowly and inexorably converge, it is only the subterranean Memory Palace that can open the way to the truth.