A blog by the staff of the Thomas Ford Memorial Library
On a warm Saturday morning the city was deserted. Its suburbs dozed, its streets had acquired a tranquility that did not belong to the hour. Shops and cafes were unexpectedly closed. Where there were people, they sat in front of television sets, or listened to transistors.
Two crooks steal a car while all of Dublin seems transfixed by a papal visit. They head south into the suburbs and break into a string of houses whose occupants are off to have a view of the pope. In one seemingly empty home they stumble upon a poor widower who is borrowing his neighbors’ TV to watch the festivities.
William Trevor toys with our expectations. Passages from the criminals’ perspective alternate with passages from the victim’s. The suspense builds slowly. Just as we sense the violence about to erupt we’re put off, then put off again and again, until the story ends up somewhere we didn’t expect at all.
It’s a very thoughtful crime story with some real emotional depth to it.
Review by Matthew