Michael Collins may not go wrong but he doesn't quite go right either. There is something sluggish about this book. Collins's prose has the heavy footfall of those who want you to be aware of their presence long before they tell you anything. Robert Pendleton, a humourless and tweedy gent, retreats from writing into academia.
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Having failed to make his mark as an author, he now teaches at Bannockburn College, an institution committed to mediocrity in all its endeavours. Stirred by the visit of a successful former colleague, Allen Horowitz, Pendleton tries to take his own life. He fails and, while he is hospitalised, a student, Adi Wiltshire, discovers the manuscript of Scream , a work which will make Pendleton's name.
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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. Passar bra ihop.
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