Tony and Susan, By Austin Wright
Lost classic with a thriller inside
Sunday 10 July 2011
The US novelist Austin Wright's Tony and Susan met with apathy when it was first published in 1993, but it was reissued last year and hailed as a lost classic, with Ian McEwan and Ruth Rendell among those to lavish praise.
At its centre is Susan Morrow, a middle-aged housewife who is surprised when her ex-husband sends her the manuscript of his new book, a disturbing tale of murder and revenge. Wright alternates between this story and Susan's responses to it, delivering a suspense thriller punctuated with pin-sharp observations on the act of reading. This gripping novel fully deserves its second chance, and it is a pity that Wright, who died in 2003, is not around to enjoy the belated acclaim.
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