Hunters in the Dark

hunters in the dark cover image Hunters in the Dark

Lawrence Osborne
Mystery
Hogarth Press
Hardcover, 320 pages
$25.00

This one has been compared to Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, Paul Bowles, Evelyn Waugh, and Ian McEwan. That’s pretty good company by our lights and this powerful novel delivers. A late-20’s Sussex teacher heads for Thailand ostensibly for a break from his seemingly dead-end life. He crosses the border into Cambodia and wins a bit of a bundle in a casino, intersects with a number of Khmer characters, is befriended by a calculating American, and falls in with a Khmer woman. The slow and languid plot unfolds almost as a meditation (with periodic eruptions) and flows like the dreamy, winding Mekong River that provides the setting. This one of the best new novels of the year.