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S. J. Parris and Stephanie Merritt

Review < Back

Katherine Carlyle by Rupert Thomson - resists easy categories

Sunday 15th November 2015

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The only certainty about a new Rupert Thomson novel – besides the clear, elegant prose – is that it will defy the expectations of his readers. Over the course of 10 novels, his breadth and variety of subject, style and genre has been so ambitious and seemingly effortless that it has made it difficult to fit any neat labels to his writing.

Katherine Carlyle is no less accomplished or ambitious, though it could not, at first glance, appear more different from his last, Secrecy, the story of a sculptor in 17th-century Florence. Katherine Carlyle also begins in Italy, though the story’s true point of origin is further back, in the lab of a London hospital...

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