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Death of a Murderer: Book summary and reviews of Death of a Murderer by Rupert Thomson

Death of a Murderer

by Rupert Thomson

Death of a Murderer by Rupert Thomson X
Death of a Murderer by Rupert Thomson
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  • Published Aug 2007
    240 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

Having spent decades in prison for crimes gruesomely familiar to everyone in England, this murderer has finally died of natural causes but is no less notorious in death than she was in life. Billy Tyler, a career policeman, has been assigned the task of guarding her body—to make sure, he’s told, that nothing happens. But alone on a graveyard shift his wife begged him not to accept, Billy has occasion to contemplate the various turns his life has taken, his complicated thoughts about violence in himself and society, the unease that distances him from marital disappointment and a damaged daughter, and, finally, why it is that this reviled murderer, in the eerie silence of the hospital morgue, seems to speak to him directly and know him more fully than anyone else. In this dark night of the soul, his own problems and anxieties gradually acquire a new and unexpected significance, giving rise to questions that should haunt us all: Whom do we love, and why? How do we protect our children? And what separates us from those we call monsters?

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Certain stories lodge like rusty hooks in the soft flesh of the mind. You cannot free yourself. Readers will agree; this fine novel is one of those unforgettable stories." - PW.

"Thomson has built up one of the most substantial bodies of work by any British novelist, [and] he has finally delivered his masterpiece, a novel so strong that it seems a foregone conclusion that Thomson will enjoy the commercial success and widespread acclaim he deserves." - The Independent on Sunday.

"Thomson is one of the classiest novelists writing in English today . . . Death of a Murderer is, in fact, a master class in technique and control . . . a novel of tremendous subtlety and power, realism in the very best sense of the word." - –Sydney Morning Herald.

"A slowly enthralling journey around the nature of guilt . . . One of Thomson's many gifts as a writer is the way that he presents--carefully, sparely and often delicately--finely wrought plots whose far-fetched path or lack of realism are so beautifully rendered that they become almost naturalistic." - Financial Times (UK).

"Thomson (Divided Kingdom) has crafted a deeply introspective work that memorably probes dark questions of love, guilt, and self." - Library Journal.

This information about Death of a Murderer was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Rupert Thomson Author Biography

Photo: Robin Farquhar-Thomson

Rupert Thomson is the author of twelve highly acclaimed novels, including Katherine Carlyle; Secrecy; The Insult, which was short-listed for the Guardian Fiction Prize and selected by David Bowie as one of his 100 Must-Read Books of All Time; The Book of Revelation, which was made into a feature film by Ana Kokkinos; and Death of a Murderer, which was short-listed for the Costa Novel of the Year Award. His memoir, This Party's Got to Stop, was named Writers' Guild Non-Fiction Book of the Year. He lives in London.

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