Jonathan is a private detective in a decaying eastern European city. He is drowning in his work, his failing marriage, and the corrupt landscape that surrounds him. One day, he is approached by an elderly couple to investigate the disappearance of their daughter, who has been missing for nearly two decades.Read more...
Jonathan is a private detective in a decaying eastern European city. He is drowning in his work, his failing marriage, and the corrupt landscape that surrounds him. One day, he is approached by an elderly couple to investigate the disappearance of their daughter, who has been missing for nearly two decades. Troubled by the faded photograph of a little girl the couple presses on him--she's the same age as his own daughter--he feels compelled to find her. Then one night, as he is contemplating his troubled marriage, he encounters a young woman crouched at the foot of a stone angel on the bridge spanning the river that divides the city, a woman who suddenly jumps into the icy water below. Plunging after her, Jonathan finds himself dragged into her ghostly world of confusion, coincidence, and intrigue, and the city he thought he knew becomes strange, mysterious, and threatening.
Combining the language and imagery of film with those of an extremely gifted writer, Neil Jordan has created a haunting novel that intrigues, delights, and surprises with its precise language, sly humor, imaginative range, and narrative flair.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-03-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Jordan, writer and filmmaker (The Crying Game), returns to his favorite theme—that of a missing woman—in this curious new novel. Jonathan is a detective who works for a tracing agency. When he is asked to locate Petra, the missing daughter of a rural couple in an unnamed Eastern European city, he enlists the help of Gertrude, a psychic whose Pomeranian has a luxated patella. She burns a map to guide Jonathan to Petra’s whereabouts, but the mystery of the missing woman soon becomes secondary to Jonathan’s relationship with an unnamed cellist he saves after she jumps off a bridge. Intrigued by her sad beauty, he visits her repeatedly. Are the two women connected? Jordan teases out the answer as Jonathan grapples with the infidelity of his wife, Sarah, while protests and ghosts lurk in the background. As the story unspools, Jordan shows his strengths as a writer in the terrific dialogue and atmospheric imagery. However, what starts out as spellbinding soon becomes underwhelming, never fully delivering on the strong set-up. (May)