The Book of Evidence, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Freddie Montgomery has committed two crimes. He stole a small Dutch master from a wealthy family friend, and he murdered a chambermaid who caught him in the act.

He has little to say about the dead girl. He killed her, he says, because he was physically capable of doing so.

It made perfect sense to smash her head in with a hammer.

What he cannot understand, and would desperately like to know, is why he was so moved by an unattributed portrait of a middle-aged woman that he felt compelled to steal it ...'Banville has excelled himself in a flawlessly flowing prose whose lyricism, patrician irony and aching sense of loss are reminiscent of Lolita' Observer 'The Book of Evidence is a major work of fiction in which every suave moment calmly detonates to show the murderous gleam within.

Banville writes a dangerous and clear-running prose and has a grim gift of seeing people's souls' Don DeLillo 'One of the most important writers now at work in English -- a key thinker, in fact, in fiction' London Review of Books 'Remarkable...If all crime novels were like this one, there would no longer be the need for a genre' Ruth Rendell


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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

splendid, language alive, crisp with no excesses. Banville dids you into the inner workings of a complex mind suprisingly accessible. The sounds and colours crowd the space and paints a masterful story. Banville almost have an unrestricted access to the common soul and thought. What is remarkable is how he expresses it at times slow, almost frozen and naturally fluid at others. Economical and poetic in his prose, Grand, difficult to immitate. Eddie.

Review by

As always with Banville the writing is exquisite and catches beautifully human frailties and venality. Never an author to use one word when two will do and not shy at challenging and expanding a reader’s vocabulary (how about minatory, flocculent, acedic, stravaig anyone?) Mr. Banville is a writer to stimulate and intrigue. The very complexity of language perfectly comments the complexity of our hero, a man with serious feet of clay. In drawing this man the author gives the character greater self awareness than most of us possess (or care to possess) and in doing so makes one flinch from time to time. At the same time Freddie is peculiarly blind in the way only enormous egos can be. A wonderful read and part of the evolving oeuvre of Banville. If you like this then know he only gets better.

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