The Professor of Truth: Book summary and reviews of The Professor of Truth by James Robertson

The Professor of Truth

By James Robertson

The Professor of Truth
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  • Published in USA  Sep 2013,
    240 pages.

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Book Summary

Twenty-one years after his wife and daughter were killed in the bombing of a plane over Scotland, English lecturer Alan Tealing persists in trying to discover what really happened on that terrible night. Over the years, he obsessively amasses documents, tapes, and transcripts to prove that the man who was convicted was not actually responsible, and that the real culprit remains at large.

When a retired American intelligence officer arrives on Alan's doorstep on a snowy night, claiming to have information about a key witness in the trial, a fateful sequence of events is set in motion. Alan decides he must confront this man, in the hope of uncovering what actually happened. While Robertson writes with the narrative thrust of a thriller, The Professor of Truth is also a graceful meditation on grief, and the lengths we may go to find meaning in loss.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[Robertson] makes a case for the messy complexity of truth." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Robertson writes brilliantly about the quest for truth and hints at the possibility of personal redemption and transformation." - Kirkus

"Robertson's choices here are novelistic ones, and he makes novelistic decisions that can, given the history that is driving them, feel less than they should be. What answers can be found in a novel about such horror and such loss is perhaps the greatest challenge. Ultimately, though, Robertson deserves plaudits for stepping up to the plate when so many others have not." - The Independent (UK)

"The second half of The Professor of Truth is far more gripping than the first. Nevertheless, the publishers are being misleading when they describe it as a thriller." - The Telegraph (UK)

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James Robertson is a multiple prize-winning Scottish author and poet. He has published four previous novels: The Fanatic; Joseph Knight, which won the Scottish Book of the Year Award and the Saltire Prize; The Testament of Gideon Mack, which was a Booker Prize finalist and a Richard & Judy book club pick, and has sold more than 250,000 copies in the UK; and his most recent novel, And the Land Lay Still, winner of the Saltire Prize.

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