16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
He Murdered Her Because He Could, 7 Dec. 2000
John Banville's novel, The Book of Evidence, is a short grim first-person narrative by an accused murderer. That narrator, Frederick Montgomery, tells his life story and about his crime as he awaits his trial in jail. Freddie committed two crimes; he stole a Dutch master painting and murdered the maid who caught him in the act. He simply murdered the girl because he was physically able to do so, however, he can only wonder why the painting had moved him so much. Through Freddie, Banville captures both the admirable and the hellish sides of human nature. Frederick speaks of Bunter, the evil side to every human. It was because of Bunter, that he was able to murder the maid. From the beginning, Frederick proclaims his guilt, however, Banville lay's many subtle hints to the whole story being the mere imagination of a madman, as Frederick states in the closing sentence, "True, Inspector? . . . All of it. None of it. Only the shame." In closing, Mr. Banville has accomplished the near impossible; he created a monster the reader could love.