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The stunning new novel from Owen Sheers – as heard on BBC Radio 4’s Book at Bedtime.
Shortlisted for the Prix Femina Étranger 2015
The event that changed all of their lives happened on a Saturday afternoon in June, just minutes after Michael Turner – thinking the Nelsons’ house was empty – stepped through their back door.
After the sudden loss of his wife, Michael Turner moves to London and quickly develops a close friendship with the Nelson family next door. Josh, Samantha and their two young daughters seem to represent everything Michael fears he may now never have: intimacy, children, stability and a family home. Despite this, the new friendship at first seems to offer the prospect of healing, but then a catastrophic event changes everything. Michael is left bearing a burden of grief and a secret he must keep, but the truth can only be kept at bay for so long.
Moving from London and New York to the deserts of Nevada, I Saw a Man is a brilliant exploration of violence, guilt and attempted redemption, written with the pace and grip of a thriller. Owen Sheers takes the reader from close observation of the domestic sphere to some of the most important questions and dilemmas of the contemporary world.
An exemplary domestic thriller, with an unstoppable plot and lots of expertly detonated surprises.
A tense, intelligent page-turner.
A gripping and stylish thriller ... finely tuned suspense that erupts into visceral drama ... An award-winning poet, his honed prose is full of images of photographic sharpness that leap from the page. But this is also a novel driven by ideas, which, in keeping with its central theme, spins out across the world ... bold and satisfying.
Extraordinarily tense and powerful, and beautifully written
Sheers' thriller is driven as much by subtle ideas as suspense ... psychologically astute ... Sheers writes carefully about careless people and the results present the reader with a reflective window on to self-deception ... a clever novel.
It twists and turns and plays its cards close to its chest, showing its full hand only in the final pages, when we are forced to reassess everything that has gone before ... taut as a thriller, but resonant with motifs of intimacy and distance, guilt and redemption, and the nature of stories and storytelling.
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