Excerpt from Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Red Sky in Morning

By Paul Lynch

Red Sky in Morning
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • Hardcover: Nov 2013,
    288 pages.
    Paperback: 21 Oct 2014,
    304 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
Naomi Benaron

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

I canny pretend to myself nothing so I can't. I did it and so it is done.

The great weight of cloud rolled back to reveal a weakening of blue and then it darkened again and when he got up and turned for the horse there was no animal presence to be seen on that barren stretch of moor but for the unrelenting gaze of the hound.

How long the riderless horse stood in the yard unnoticed nobody could say. It ghosted into the stabled area, eyes wild and its bronze coat furred with thorns. The whites of its ankles were cloven with mud and its muzzle inked with blood. A call was made for Faller and the man strode from the house, his black boots shining and his cold eyes in their fixed position of smiling. Workmen huddled about the horse murmuring and some of them looked up anxiously at the man in the hope he could provide some assurance or explanation as to the nature of what lay before them, but he showed no emotion at the sight of the riderless horse. He took the beast's head in his long hands and looked at the crimson tapestry, examined the flesh of the animal for evidence of injury and when he found none he touched the damp substance with his finger and spoke under his breath in words that were as clear as day to the assembled that the blood did not belong to the horse.

Jim stood pitching hay in the shed when a worker stepped into the gloom.

Hamilton's horse came back and no rider on it and there's blood on er too, he said.

Jim put the fork in the hay and walked outside. He pushed through the men with tightening teeth. He put a hand to the flank of the beast and pulled the thorns from its side and spoke softly to the mare. And when he turned about the horse he saw the jacket rolled into the straps and he bent towards it and knew at once whose it was and he was struck with what seemed like a great and instant weight. There was talk of a search party and then Faller was at his shoulder. He issued orders without raising his voice then reached over Jim's head and took the jacket and unballed it. He held it to the air in front of him and then he walked to the house with the item in his hand. The men put down their tools and went towards the outhouses for their jackets and Jim took the horse into the stable. He guided it into the stall and rubbed its nose and took straw and lifted it to its mouth and he stood about and walked back and forth and when he stepped outside there was movement of men up by the house. He made for the other direction, went low by the back of the stables, found that his feet were running, and he became weighed with the feeling that the natural order of things had slipped beyond fixing.

The men had fanned out along the track favored by Hamilton. To the front Faller walked slowly head bent watching for signs. The turf was soft and giving underfoot. About a mile from the house the men came to a fence and there they watched Faller bend to the wet floor testing it with his fingers. He stood up and spoke quietly to a man called Macken who turned around with a face scuffed and shined like boot leather and an empty eye socket sealed with a fold of flesh and he beckoned in turn to another of the men. The three sat on their haunches and Faller pointed to the floor and a scurry of tracks. Then he stood and walked slowly in another direction and his eyes alighted on the blood by the wall and the spill of blood on the grass sluiced now by the rain. He bent to the rocks and touched them with a finger. Macken crouched down too. The other men had stopped and stood watching. Faller pointed to drag marks on the grass and then stood and looked at the ground and followed till he got to the gate and stopped by a clearing beside the trees and bent and touched the earth with his hand and it came up tinctured with blood and then he turned off in that direction and his two men went with him.

Evening was falling as the men put foot upon the bog. The rain had stopped and a pillar of sun stood upon the heather as if asserting entitlement upon the plain. The two men followed Faller, who bent to the moss at intervals testing the ground for tracks seeing things the other two men could not, but they nodded to each other in recognition of the man's abilities, supernatural they said, and kept silent behind him.

Excerpted from Red Sky in Morning by Paul Lynch. Copyright © 2013 by Paul Lynch. Excerpted by permission of Little Brown & Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book:
  The Mystery of Duffy's Cut

Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Man Called Ove
    A Man Called Ove
    by Fredrik Backman
    Reading A Man Called Ove was like having Christmas arrive early. Set in Sweden, this debut novel is ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  27The Arsonist:
    Sue Miller
  2.  118Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist


Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.