Why haven’t we heard more about Adam Thorpe? With a title like The Rules of Perspective, this book could easily have gone either way; ditto for its being set in a small German city during the closing days of the Second World War. It was, therefore, gratifying to discover that Thorpe has, in this his fifth novel, produced something of a gem.
Without so much as a handshake, he enfolds us in the macabre, dust-laden terror of an enemy artillery strike, his imagery so vivid it causes one’s throat to constrict as phosphorus shells bombard the Lohenfelde museum, reducing the once-grand edifice to a blackened, art-fuelled smoulder. Stowed away in the museum’s