The Light of Day

Genre: Fiction; Author: Graham Swift

Like Last Orders, Swift’s terrific 1996 Booker Prize winner, his latest novel, a subdued noir melodrama, minutely jujitsus a single day, creeping the plot forward bit by bit while jumping back to unpeel the back stories. Trouble is, Orders had a half dozen narrators embroidering twice as many meaty subplots; The Light of Day has one narrator with but one story, a lonely PI obsessed with the woman who paid him to spy on her cheating husband. After we figure out what happened to the woman, roughly 100 pages in, there’s not enough suspense or insight – despite Swift’s fluid prose style – to compensate for 200 more increasingly claustrophobic pages of the detective’s unvarying rambles.

Originally posted May 9 2003 — 12:00 AM EDT

More from Our Partners