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The Manual of Detection

by Jedediah Berry

Defying classification this complex, imaginative and clever book will at turns leave you dazzled and confused. A nod to gothic fantasy and noir the main protagonist, an unlikely detective sets out to uncover the mystery of the disappearance of a city's alarm clocks and more bizarrely the 12th November! Skipping between dreams and reality, a novel to savour for its invention.

Extract

The iciness that had settled in Unwin's wet socks climbed up his legs and began melting into his stomach. How many blunders had he already committed? He read the next few pages quickly, then skimmed the beginnings of those chapters that dealt with the foundations of the investigative process. Every paragraph of the Manual of Detection read like an admonishment tailored specifically for him. He should have developed an alternate identity, come in disguise or through a back door, planned an escape route. Certainly he should have remained armed. In one case file after another he had seen these techniques used, but detectives employed them without any apparent forethought. Was Sivart really so deliberate? Everything he did - whether throwing someone off his trail or throwing a punch - he did as the though the possibility had only just occurred to him.

Parallels

Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde
The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon
 

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