The Murderer

The Murderer


'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.


  • 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.
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