cover image The King of Infinite Space

The King of Infinite Space

Lyndsay Faye. Putnam, $27 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-53589-8

Faye (The Paragon Hotel), who’s written Sherlock Holmes pastiches and historical mysteries, as well as reimagined Jane Eyre as a serial killer, further showcases her versatility with this enthralling riff on Hamlet, set in contemporary New York City. Twenty years after a fire claiming the life of an unidentified victim devastated the New World’s Stage Theatre, its owner, Jackson Dane, dies unexpectedly. Dane posthumously reveals the truth behind his demise in a medium more appropriate to the 21st century: video, having left behind a recording for his son, Benjamin. In it, Dane voices his fears that someone is trying to kill him and points the finger at his brother, Claude, who marries Dane’s widow, Trudy, soon after Dane’s death. Benjamin searches for the truth, aided by his friend and lover, Horatio Patel, and his ex-fiancee, Lia Brahms, whose father, Paul, had run the New World’s Stage. Shakespeare devotees will be impressed at the variations Faye introduces to the play’s plotline, and Faye’s considerable descriptive gifts are on ample display (a sunrise is depicted as having “the palette of an eighties movie where the girl remakes herself by taking her glasses off”). Fans and newcomers alike will delight in Faye’s remarkable achievement. Agent: Erin Malone, WME. (Aug.)