|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Booth's brilliantly creepy psychological suspense novel follows a so-called "shadow-dweller" (a technical weapons expert who creates and supplies the tools for high-level assassins) to a rural village in southern Italy where he poses as "Signor Farfalla," a quiet artist who paints miniatures of butterflies and has traveled to the area to capture a unique native specimen. As the artist, whose real name is Clark, settles into the local scene, most of his new acquaintances accept his enigmatic alias, with the notable exception of Father Benedetto, the priest who pushes him to reveal himself in a series of confessional conversations over glasses of Armagnac. Between painting the minutely detailed butterfly studies and preparing for his next job, Clark carouses with a pair of local prostitutes, Dindina and Clara, eventually slipping into a serious affair with the latter. As he gets weapons specs and begins constructing a new gun, he learns that his latest customer is a woman whose next target may be Yasser Arafat. Suddenly he senses another "shadow-dweller" on his trail; this anonymous figure remains a mystery to Clark until their climactic showdown. The lazy, languid setting is an eerily effective backdrop for the fresh and beguiling murder intrigue, and the flashbacks into Clark's cold, brutal past are cleverly juxtaposed against his budding romance with young, naive Clara. With first-rate characters and a gradual buildup of suspense, Booth constructs his most focused, tightly written novel to date, reminiscent of William Trevor's classic Felicia's Journey and the late Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Those in the Italian village where he currently lives call him Sr. Farfalle--Mr. Butterfly--but he never reveals his real name. He has few friends, only business contacts. He is constantly on the move and always watching his back. He considers himself an artisan, not for the butterflies he paints as his cover but for the guns he creates for cunning assassins. He sees nothing wrong with what he does and feels he has helped shape history. But he is getting older and promises himself that his current job will be his last. Then, perhaps, he can settle down comfortably in the Italian village he has grown to love and enjoy the remainder of his life without constantly looking over his shoulder for the "shadow-dwellers" who are always there, waiting for him to slip up. Haunting, shocking, and tense, Booth's story is a charismatic blend of psychological thriller, vivid drama, searing morality tale, and profound psychological study. His writing is crisp yet lyrical, simple yet intelligent. Readers looking for thought-provoking literary fiction can't do any better than this. Emily Melton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I got this book because I semi-liked the eponymous movie, which was a quiet mood piece, w/o a convincing story perhaps, but with good acting, cinematography, and unhurried,... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ghost(Ghost(M))
Very well written and a good theme explored that concentrates on the mechanic who manufactures weapons of assassination and not the hit men who do the job. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Mike Richards
The title of the source material for the movie is "A Very Private Gentleman" and the title alone was very compelling for me. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Hoobeedoo
Sometimes it's so slow, but well-written and interesting story.Published 2 months ago by M. Eckroat
Very much enjoyed this book. I like Booth's descriptive style.Published 6 months ago by Ruth E Shatkowski
Booth's work was recommended to me by friends and I can see why others enjoy his style but it's not really my "cup of tea". Read morePublished 7 months ago by S. Vest