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Lit­er­ary trick­ery

Re­lease Date: 12 Fe­bru­ary

208 pages | Pa­per­back Au­thor: Jonathan Barnes Pub­lisher: So­laris

Matthew Can­non­bridge

is the world’s best loved au­thor. Wait, what do you mean you’ve never heard of him? He was at the villa in Geneva where Mary Shel­ley dreamed up Franken­stein and he wrote The English Golem. He was friends with Dick­ens. He con­ferred with Arthur Co­nan Doyle while writ­ing about the in­fa­mous de­tec­tive, Mon­sieur Dupin. Can­non­bridge! No?

No. Can­non­bridge is an in­ven­tion. Not just for this novel, but in the world of the novel, too. Some­one’s been chang­ing his­tory, in­sert­ing a new writer into the canon. And while mak­ing up Vic­to­rian au­thors might not seem like a par­tic­u­larly das­tardly plan, it has nasty side- ef­fects. Can­non­bridge isn’t just a man. He’s some­thing else…

With a deft nar­ra­tive wo­ven smoothly through his­tory, Jonathan Barnes’s novel is both smart and creepy. Back in the 1880s, a shadow hangs over Can­non­bridge; in mod­ern- day Lon­don, a pro­fes­sor who sus­pects the truth finds him­self in mor­tal peril. The dark forces at work here are se­ri­ously dark, and prop­erly mys­te­ri­ous, too; the con­spir­acy is so bizarre it’ll keep you hooked to the very end.

There’s some­thing glee­fully nerdy about the way so many fa­mous au­thors are drawn into the story, and there’s a wicked satir­i­cal sense of hu­mour un­der­neath the nar­ra­tive. Can­non­bridge the writer might not be real, but Can­non­bridge the novel de­serves to be­come well- known. Sarah Dobbs Also re­cently out, and writ­ten by Jonathan Barnes: The Judge­ment Of Sher­lock Holmes, a box set of four au­dio ad­ven­tures.

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