‘One Man’s Truth is Another Man’s Lie’
When Peter Katz, a literary agent, receives a submission from a Richard Flynn, he has no idea the impact that the first few chapters will have on him. Once read, Katz knows that he needs to see the rest of the book, titled The Book Of Mirrors. But there’s a problem. The submission had been sitting on Katz’s desk for a while and the author is now gravely ill. Before Katz can find out more, Richard Flynn dies. His partner claims to have no knowledge of the manuscript. If The Book of Mirrors had been a work of fiction then maybe Peter Katz could have left it alone but Flynn claimed that the book was a memoir that examined an unsolved murder. Determined to find out the truth, Katz hires an investigative journalist to solve The Book Of Mirrors.
Since reading Gone Girl, I’ve found myself always wondering how reliable a narrator is in a novel. The Book Of Mirrors serves up a veritable feast of characters that cause us to doubt their words and actions. Told from four different viewpoints – Peter Katz, Richard Flynn, John Keller and Roy Freeman, each compelling in their own way, the story skilfully flits in and out of possible murderers and motives before we finally learn the truth. My favourite narrator was John Keller, the young investigative journalist who becomes so embroiled in the case, that he doesn’t notice his life imploding around him. The case becomes obsessive for whoever takes it on. Chirovici describes this as a whydunnit rather than a whodunit and indeed, the motive becomes key. Find that and you have your killer. In some ways, it reminded me of Agatha Christie and although we don’t have the classic Christie denouement at the end, with everyone gathered, the killer is confronted.
But what I found most interesting, is the actual story of how the book came to be published. Although he’s written other books, this is Chirovici’s first book in English (he’s Romanian). Having been rejected by agents, he tried a small publishing house. The owner met with him and explained that the book was just too big a project for them and he encouraged Chirovici to submit again to agents. He did so and PFD took him on. I’m so glad they did. Now sold in 36 territories, Chirovici has succeeded where his fictional author failed.
You can buy The Book of Mirrors here.