INDIGO by Graham Joyce


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British fantasist Joyce’s fourth novel to be published here (Dark Sister, p. 764, etc.) turns from fantasy to straight suspense, with a glowing tablespoon of the uncanny added to the generally realistic mix. Jack Chambers, 40, a twice-divorced ex-bobby running his own business as a London process server, is called to Chicago to hear his odd, wealthy, despised father’s will. At the reading of the will, Jack discovers he has a half sister, Louise, 30, a single mother who has never married. Louise will inherit the bulk of coldhearted Tim Chambers’s estate, although Jack will receive a handsome fee as executor if he sells off Tim’s Chicago apartment and furnishings plus a house he owned in Rome, and if he sees to the publication of a manuscript his father wrote. This manuscript, written in invisible ink that comes to light when exposed to oxygen, is called Indigo and is a Manual of Light concerned with the art of invisibility—of going unseen or of assuming an aura that more or less deflects being seen. The aura comes from the color indigo, a richly deep twilight blue that can—t be seen itself without the self-training set forth by the guidebook—whose every word is included here. This highly original ploy will have readers straining to see a color that’s the gateway to invisibility, a hue so elusive that the mind can—t quite capture it. At first, half siblings Louise and Jack don—t hit it off, but then Jack’s feelings for Louise teeter on incest. Will she, won—t she, will she, won—t she? The two go off to Rome, where hints of sex and fantasy are joined by hints of murder. Though the second half is less gripping than the first, Joyce sustains his imaginative opening device until the very end. Readers lucky enough to get in at the ground floor will hail the birth of a strongly inventive suspense novelist.

Pub Date: Jan. 11th, 2000
ISBN: 0-671-03937-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Pocket
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2000


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