Prentis, senior clerk in the ‘dead crimes’ department of police archives, is becoming more and more confused.
Alienated from his wife and children, and obsessed by his father, a wartime hero now the mute inmate of a mental hospital, Prentis feels increasingly unsettled as his enigmatic boss, Mr Quinn, turns his investigation towards him - and his father.
Gradually Prentis suspects that his father’s breakdown and Quinn’s menacing behaviour are connected and the link is to be found in his father’s memoirs, ‘Shuttlecock’ . . .
‘Excellent, profound’ Alan Hollinghurst, London Review of Books
‘An astonishing study of forms of guilt, laced with a thread of detection, and puckering now and then into outrageous humour’ Sunday Times
‘A superbly written claustrophobic account of power that corrupts private and public life and of guilt that becomes obsession’ Daily Telegraph
‘Swift’s central strength as a writer is his integrity. Story and character are treated with a seriousness and respect that while allowing for the oddity of human behaviour – Shuttlecock is thoroughly and beautifully odd – always honours them’ Times Literary Supplement
‘Serious, moving and often very funny indeed’ Observer