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Customer Review

4.0 out of 5 stars A Murder in Ireland, 22 Oct. 2013
This review is from: The Book of Evidence (Paperback)
I read only two John Banville (JB) novels before this one. I loved his Booker Prize winner "The Sea" and his earlier "The Untouchable" about Anthony Blunt, the UK's infamous and long-undetected `Fifth Man' in a famous Cold War scandal, who later became Surveyor of the Queen's Pictures. Both novels were in effect, made-up musings by JB's main characters. This JB novel, first published in 1989, bears all the hallmarks of these later books.

But soon after digging into this novel, readers will have serious doubts about Freddie Montgomery, the main subject's character and integrity. Will find him self-centered and unable to fathom the impression he makes on others when they first see or meet him (tall and overweight, speaking upper-class English). As the book progresses, he becomes rather wild-eyed, unkempt and smelly. The book constantly frames (or interrupts) scenes of the hero's weird travails with descriptions of the weather, the clouds, the sea, the landscape, which was a feature of "The Sea", too.

This novel is supposedly written in prison, in the I form as a long-winded plea for mercy from judges and jury in mind, by a killer to justify his crime, his past, what he went through just before and after the fatal event. And about how long it took the police to find him (despite all the clues, sightings, weird incidents he created) during a short stay, or should one say, a spree of bad form between Ibiza, Spain and Ireland?
There is much more to this book, with many highly dramatic side-events for readers to discover. And strange as it may seem, they are often described in a hilariously funny way. Thoroughly entertaining, superbly written and instantly forgettable, because it has no morale or ulterior message. Unless I'm badly wrong. Entertaining and recommended novel.
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