a Home | Search Library Catalogue | Search this Website
The Keepers of Truth by Michael Collins
Published by Phoenix House, 2000

The last of a manufacturing dynasty in a dying industrial town, Bill lives alone in the family mansion and works for the Truth, the moribund local paper. He yearns to write long philosophical think pieces about the American dream gone sour, not the flaccid write-ups of homebake contests and high-school sports demanded by the Truth. Then old man Lawson goes missing, and suspicion fixes on his son Ronny, bad boy of the area. Paradoxically, the spectre of violent death breathes new life into the town, with network attention and national scoops for the Truth. For Bill, a deeper and more disturbing involvement with the Lawtons themselves ensues. The Lawton murder and the obsessions it awakes in the town come to symbolise the mood of a nation on the edge. In this piercing novel, Michael Collins turns his uncompromising vision to eighties small-town America. Compulsively readable, The Keepers of Truth startles both with its insights and with Collins's powerful, incisive writing.

'Collins creates a gripping picture of slow-moving, small-town life, and packs it into a treat of a murder mystery.' The Guardian
'A style so arrestingly visual it hijacks the reader's concentration; dazzling with the energy and originality of the language.' Independent
'As the prospect of some real live violence enlivens the sleepy town, Bill is sucked further into the mystery than he intends, and Collins, a master of narrative suspense, keeps his hero on the brink. Disturbing, pacy and full of incident, you won't be able to put this down.' The Good Book Guide
'Collins forged a highly rhythmic prose which, in its biblical density and its long, cadenced sentences, recalled the language of Cormac McCarthy's magnificent Border Trilogy.' The Observer
'Collins's new novel achieves the satisfactions of the conventional novel [readability and strong characterisation] while unfolding a bleak, utterly contemporary picture of a society in terrible dissolution. ' The Observer

This book was shortlisted for the 2002 IMPAC Award and the 2000 Booker Prize. It won the Kerry Ingredients Book of the Year Award for Best Irish Novel in 2000.
Michael Collins was born in County Limerick, Ireland.

By the same author:
The Life and Times of a Teaboy
The Feminists go Swimming
Emerald Underground
The Meat Eaters
The Resurrectionists

Current Book of the Month
Previous Books of the Month