Friday, 14 November 2008

Veggie Books: Death of a Murderer

I've said this before, but Rupert Thomson is the writer I want to be. He tackles all the themes that I'm preoccupied with, and does it better. How annoying that he's out there, existing, scribbling away, making me obsolete. Still, I can't begrudge the man his novels. They are incredible.

Death of a Murderer is about the policemen who guards the body of Myra Hindley in the mortuary on the night before her burial.

Billy Tyler is not given to introspection, but that long dark night takes his mind in strange directions. At one point he remembers a trip to France with a friend who has all the money and some strange philosophical beliefs.

'What are we going to eat tonight?'

'I bought a couple of tomatoes,' said Raymond, 'and there's half a baguette left over from yesterday. That should do us.'

So that was supper.

Afterwards, Raymond declared himself quite full - 'replete' was the word he used - and Billy couldn't bring himself to disagree.

Over the next few days, as they journeyed south, Raymond subjected Billy to a series of lectures on food. It was his belief that food both dulled perception and extinguished desire.

How far can a person be influenced by another's beliefs? Will they willingly starve? Die, or kill?

Just think how good this book must be. I raved about it and it contains not one, but two, tomatoes.


Drew said...

I agree, I love Rupert Thomson's books, and they are all so different. I'd recommend them all, they are all brilliant.

Iain Rowan said...

Rupert Thomson is the only writer to whom I've ever written a proper fanboy letter.

I'd maybe write one to Donna Tartt too, but I'd probably have to wait ten years for a reply.

My favourite quote on Thomson is from a New Statesman review: "When someone writes as well as Thomson does, it makes you wonder why other people bother." I know what they mean.

Aliya Whiteley said...

I'm glad to know he's pissing quite a few of us off with his talent. I thought it was just me being a meanie.