Synopses & Reviews
On the anniversary of a life-shattering event, George Webb, a former policeman turned private detective, revisits the catastrophes of his past and reaffirms the extraordinary direction of his future. Two years before, an assignment to follow a strayed husband and his mistress appeared simple enough, but this routine job left George a transformed man.
Suspenseful, moving, and hailed by critics as a detective story unlike any other, The Light of Day is a gripping tale of murder and redemption, as well as a bold exploration of love and self-discovery. This powerful novel signals yet another groundbreaking achievement from Graham Swift, the author of the Booker Prize-winning novel Last Orders.
"[R]eads not like a hard-boiled detective tale but like a well, like a Graham Swift novel....The mood and tone of the book are decidedly Larkinesque: a fog of disappointment and regret wafts over the characters, muffling their actions and suffocating their dreams." Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
"With The Light of Day, Graham Swift distills emotion and incident into a hypnotic elixir. He is simply one of the most sure-handed, savvy and remarkable writers now at work....He is a writer of immense gifts." The Washington Post
"[I]ntricate and absorbing....[A]n elegant and gripping text: a virtuoso fusion of noir-drenched mystery and psychological analysis reminiscent of similar recent works by Kazuo Ishiguro and Paul Auster." Kirkus Reviews
"Though perhaps not at the level of Last Orders
, this beautifully written novel is a worthwhile addition to the Swift canon." Publishers Weekly
"A virtuosic display of narrative skill." Philadelphia Inquirer
"Swift's hypnotic, elliptical style neatly showcases his characters' psychological depths, yielding a noir-ish stunner shot through with a brutal clarity." Vanity Fair
"Swift has shaped his meditation on fate and chance with a craftsman's hand. From first to last it's a story of patterns disrupted, expectations overturned." San Francisco Chronicle
"Like Swift's previous novels...one must learn how to read The Light of Day in order to enjoy it. The novel can be choppy and jarring. Most of its sentences are not sentences at all, but fragments shards, really of a man's shattered thought processes." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"The Light of Day
takes up many of the same questions as Swift's earlier work. Do people die for love, and if so what are the consequences for those whom they leave behind? Can we choose to fall in and out of love, or are we inevitably overcome by forces beyond our control? But the book restricts itself to a much more shallow scope, and so it seems to strain for the sort of operatic intensity that once was natural." Ruth Franklin, The New Republic
(read the entire New Republic review
Ordinary lives are transformed through extraordinary storytelling as Swift combines a powerful love story and a narrative of intense suspense into a brilliant and tender novel about what drives people to extremes of emotion.
About the Author
Graham Swift was born in 1949 in London, where he still lives and works. He is the author of six novels: The Sweet-Shop Owner
, which received the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize; Waterland
, which was short-listed for the Booker Prize and won the Guardian
Fiction Award, the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize, and the Italian Premio Grinzane Cavour; Out of This World
; Ever After
, which won the French Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger; and Last Orders
, which was awarded the Booker Prize. He is also the author of Learning to Swim
, a collection of short stories. His work has been translated into more than twenty-five languages.