The Murderer

The Murderer

Summary

'A masterpiece ... complex and fascinating and memorable' Colm Tóibín

'A beautiful writer and an unforgettable book' Salman Rushdie


'Guyanese authors are a radiant constellation, and Roy Heath stands rightfully among them. His unique style stands out from others of his time, and ours' Lemn Sissay


'For me life hasn't got dreams, success and all that damn nonsense. Life is full of shadows: some of them soft and others conceal a hammer.'

Galton Flood is a lonely man, restless and ill at ease with his family. He leaves his home in Guyana's capital, Georgetown, for a remote township, and the first of a string of precarious jobs. Meeting Gemma, his landlord's daughter, appears to offer a first chance of meaningful connection - maybe even happiness. But there is a darkness inside Galton, and soon jealousy and paranoia lead him to fatally, violently unravel.

With this haunting portrait of a mind undone, celebrated Guyanese writer Roy Heath evocatively recreates the country of his youth: its rivers, townships and tenement yards, and the tensions shimmering below the surface of a community.

'Enthralling ... a nuanced portrait of the disintegrating individual psyche' Fred D'Aguiar

Reviews

  • A beautiful writer and an unforgettable book.
    Salman Rushdie

About the author

Roy Heath

Roy Heath (1926-2008) grew up in Guyana, and moved to Britain in his twenties. He trained as a lawyer and was called to the bar in both Britain and Guyana, but worked instead as a writer and a secondary school teacher in London. The Murderer, his second novel, won the Guardian Fiction Prize when it was published in 1978. His subsequent works include the Armstrong trilogy - made up of From the Heat of the Day, One Generation and Genetha - and The Shadow Bride, which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Though Heath spent most of his life in Britain, all of his fiction was set in Guyana.
Learn More

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more