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The Light of Day
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1001 book reviews > The Light of Day - Graham Swift

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Karen | 294 comments I had never heard of this book so I don't know if I would have ever picked this up if was not for the Randomizer giving it to me. I am so glad it did.

The story involves George, a disgraced policeman turned private eye, and a day in his life. As the day develops we realise it is no usual day - it is the second anniversary of a murder and the story shows us George living this one day and the reflections that this event promotes within him. This is an unconventional crime novel - we know the crime and the criminal from very early on. But the developing layers on layers of story as we learn more about the main character and the events around that day just keep adding depth and emotion to the narrative.

Both our "corrupt cop" main character and his love interest are characters who would usually be seen as unsympathetic by a reader but their story is told with such tenderness that this can be overlooked; nobody is perfect, nobody is without sin in this book, which seems realistic.There is a hopefulness to this novel that is so wonderful. Like George, we start to long for the day that Sarah can see the light of day again.

It is told in a non-linear way, with short paragraphs. I initially struggled with it but soon fell in love with the prose.


Kelly_Hunsaker_reads ... | 894 comments This is the first time in a very long time that I have read a book from cover to cover and been tempted to reread it again immediately. It took me a few chapters to fully engage because of the story telling style, where I lived inside the protagonist's thoughts. Typically of that style the story is told through memories which jump around in time. It is quite voyeuristic and felt a bit invasive at times. And then it also felt like I was listening to him tell me his story over a cup of coffee. The prose is simple, spare and beautiful.

4.5 stars from me.


Dree | 243 comments 4 stars

Over the course of one day private detective George Webb thinks about his life--the things he has done, the things he has ongoing, his relationships. A disgraced former cop and current private detective, a divorced father of an adult daughter, a man in a relationship of sorts with a former client serving 10 years for murder. A murder he might have stopped had he known it would occur. He himself can't figure out if he should--or how he could--get out of this relationship that consists of visits every 2 weeks.

This book is a bit of a puzzle itself--as George recounts different parts of his past, the reader must fit them all together. The story is not linear, the story is one man thinking about different people and events at different times of his day.

I enjoyed this, though I am sure I missed a few things in trying to piece it all together.


message 4: by Kristel (last edited Nov 24, 2018 06:04PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Kristel (kristelh) | 4258 comments Mod
The Light of Day - Graham Swift. This is a story of a murder. The main character, George is an ex cop, private investigator, who was hired by Sarah to follow her husband who was having an affair with a refuge. I found the book to be painfully slow and repetitive. The author reveals the story slowly, as is a common, but really, it could have been a lot less pages and it really never goes anywhere. It is a story of one day, the two year anniversary, and is the stream of conscious of the detective, George. I don't feel anything for any of the characters. I really enjoyed his book, Waterland, but this one, not so much. Rated it 3.5 stars.


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