A note of madness

What I’m reading now: The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin Wood

“They heard the caterwaul of sirens, and saw the dust rising underneath the ambulance wheels at the far end of the driveway, and soon the darkening garden was a wash of flashing blue lights. It only seemed real when they told the paramedics where to find the bodies.”

The Bellwether Revivals by Benjamin WoodSomething about The Bellwether Revivals —a negative of a bird out of Poe, three letters curling like tendrils and phantom musical notation materialising through the matt black cover— made me pick it up. I then discovered that the cover had a smooth, rubbery coating  (silicone?) that longs to be touched.

I’ve now been drawn into the novel’s world, and need to hear evensong at King’s College, Cambridge and the work of the composer Johann Mattheson. I love it when a book piques your curiosity in this way.

According to the publisher’s blurb, The Bellwether Revivals will “appeal to fans of Donna Tartt and Ian McEwan”. So far, I can’t quite endorse the comparison. McEwan’s earlier works, such as The Cement Garden, The Comfort of Strangers, and Black Dogs, were so sinister as to earn him the nickname McCreepy. Although Benjamin Wood might not steal that particular crown, The Bellwether Revivals is a dark psychological thriller set in a world where privilege, youth and genius rub shoulders with death, old age and madness. I look forward to curling up with it —and shuddering— tonight.

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