The Secret Life of E. Robert Pendleton

ebook / ISBN-13: 9780297857129

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A tale of murder and literary ambition set on an American university campus from a master of the dark side of human nature

It’s been over a decade since Robert Pendleton published his brilliant short story debut, and his hopes for a dazzling literary career now lie in tatters. Hanging on to his tenure in literature at Bannockburn college by the slimmest of threads, Pendleton’s simmering despair boils over with the arrival on campus of his one-time friend, now nemesis, the bestselling author and king of the coffee-table book, David Horowitz.

For Pendleton, death seems to be the only remaining option, but his attempt to kill himself is wrecked by the intervention of Adi Wiltshire, a graduate student battling her own demons of failure and thwarted ambition. Whilst Pendleton recovers from his suicide attempt, Adi discovers a novel hidden in his basement: a brilliant, bitter story with a gruesome murder at its core.

The publication of Scream causes a storm of publicity, a whirlwind into which Adi and Horowitz are thrust – along with the sister of a young girl whose real-life, unsolved murder bears an uncanny resemblance to the crime in Pendleton’s novel and a burnt-out cop with secrets of his own, who is determined to prove that in this case fact and fiction are one and the same.

Reviews

A brilliantly plotted, brooding narrative, with a thrilling twist at its close
DAILY MAIL
A superbly written, cinematic novel
IRELAND ON SUNDAY
Another of Collins's meticulously observed American thrillers . . . an irresistibly entertaining writer
SUNDAY TELEGRAPH
Searingly funny . . . Collins is one of Ireland's major talents
IRISH TIMES
This excellent novel draws on several genres - the campus novel, the rival-novelists novel, the classic crime novel - to make something unique
THE TIMES
As the plot unfurls, we see that Collins, with some subtlety, has managed to give the impression of a quotidian satire on life in the ivory tower. But THE SECRET LIFE OF ROBERT E. PENDLETON offers more than this: an ironic critique of that time-honoured genre and its attendant anti-intellectualism, which refuses to take itself too seriously
TLS
Part detective story, part philosophical tract with a nod to both Dona Tartt and Stephen King, this novel is compelling, thought-provoking, and just a little bit spooky
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