Jonathan Barnes

Get Cathar

Lion Heart

By

Bloomsbury 330pp £18.99 order from our bookshop
 

‘I have the feeling’, confides Richard Cathar, the hero and narrator of Justin Cartwright’s eccentric new novel, Lion Heart, ‘that I have strayed into genre fiction.’ His suspicion is correct. This long, diffuse, improbable narrative dallies with a series of popular forms that might strike some as unexpected choices for the distinguished, Booker-shortlisted author. The book moves from Dan Brownish conspiracy thriller to espionage drama, Francophile romance to social satire of the broadest type (a lecherous tutor named ‘Edgar Gaylard’; an uninspiring lawyer named ‘Derek Cocks’), never quite settling on any particular tone. It is nothing if not unpredictable.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter