cover image The Lemur

The Lemur

Benjamin Black, . . Picador, $13 (132pp) ISBN 978-0-312-42808-2

In this excellent novella from Edgar-finalist Banville (Christine Falls ), John Glass, an Irish-born journalist living in New York, reluctantly accepts an offer from his father-in-law, William “Big Bill” Mulholland, to write the older man's biography for $1 million. Big Bill, a former CIA agent turned communications tycoon, is the kind of man whose secrets are matters of national security. In preparation for the project, Glass contacts Dylan Riley, a shifty researcher Glass dubs the titular lemur. Riley tries to blackmail Glass, but ends up dead before Glass can find out what “the lemur” knows. Afraid that the secret might involve his ongoing affair with fellow Irish ex-pat Alison O'Keeffe, Glass starts digging into Big Bill's past. First serialized in the New York Times Magazine , this crime novel showcases the author's trademark dry wit, tight plotting and appealing, flawed characters. Black is the pen name of Booker Prize–winner John Banville. (July)