Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Lemur by Benjamin Black

Looking for a beach-tested novel? Try Benjamin Black’s The Lemur, an Irishman’s noir mystery set in New York City. Among his credentials, the author, nee John Banville, acquired a Man Booker Prize for The Sea. His style and subject is slightly more Fitzgerald’s Gatsby than James Cain’s Postman, moving quickly from a Bleeker Street studio to a penthouse on the Upper East Side, along with appropriate homes along the west coast of Ireland and the Hamptons. The main character is a card-carrying journalist, now tethered to a wealthy wife and a hefty commission to write her father’s biography. Billuns, the wife’s patronymic for her dad, had been a high up operative in the CIA before he entered the business world. His partner died with a bullet through his eye, now decades later, a young researcher collecting information on him dies the same way. It’s a fast paced tale, in a thin paperback format that can pack easy and be finished before you burn.

Check Old Colony Library Network for availability of this book: