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The Semantics of Murder Paperback – 30 Apr 2009

3.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Serpent's Tail; Main edition (30 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 184668658X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846686580
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,630,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


Campbell shows a light and conciliatory touch... She is excellent on the symptomatic one-upmanship of academia... she clearly has a talent for direct and uncompromising character portrayal. (Irish Times)

Written in glistening prose... a major talent (Irish Independent)

An enthralling and intelligent thriller swirling with dark, beguiling shadows, The Semantics of Murder establishes Aifric Campbell as a storyteller of really immense gifts. She combines a unique sensibility with a prose of shimmering beauty. This is gripping, haunting work (Joseph O'Connor)

A tautly written thriller of ideas that asks awkward questions about the "talking cure" and its potential to blur fact with fiction... dark and damaged (Adrian Turpin Financial Times 2009-05-23)

A highly readable thriller... a page-turner with panache (Araminta Wallace Irish Times 2009-07-18)

Aifric is a master of metaphor, an expert at the extended simile. Her language is ideally suited to the character of a jaded cynic who is greatly bothered by the elements that have shaped his personality. Her depictions of the analytic sessions her protagonist conducts are painfully revealing; the jumble of emotions he expresses about himself and his relationship to others are even more so. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED (I Love a Mystery - USA 2010-01-04)

This is a surprising book that defies all expectations. The murder mystery is satisfying, with unexpected twists and turns, the characters are expertly crafted, and it is incredibly well written. It's definitely something that fans of literary fiction should pick up. (S. Krishna's Book Blog USA 2010-01-08)


Jay Hamilton lives a comfortable life in fashionable west London, listening to the minor and major dysfunctions of the over-privileged clients who frequent his psychoanalytic practice. But the darker recesses of his own psyche would not stand up to close examination: his brother Richard, a genius professor of mathematical linguistics, was apparently killed by rent boys in Los Angeles and Jay was the first on the scene. Author Dana Flynn is determined to scratch beneath the surface while researching a biography she intends to write about Richard, and finds that Jay's professional life is as precarious as his personal relationships - he uses his clients' case studies as material for his fiction writing. Such is Jay's hunger for recognition as a creative force that he exploits the vulnerable people he counsels, and a decision not to intervene when a troubled patient steals a baby, causes his past to unravel.

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9 customer reviews

3.0 out of 5 stars

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18 September 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
13 February 2015
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22 July 2012
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17 May 2008
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