The Semantics of Murder

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Pages: 256
Subject: Fiction

The Semantics of Murder

Aifric Campbell

Paperback(Out of stock)
9781846686580 (30 Apr 2009)

About the book

Jay Hamilton lives a comfortable life in fashionable west London, listening to the minor and major dysfunctions of the over-privileged clients who frequent his psychoanalytic practice. But the darker recesses of his own psyche would not stand up to close examination: his brother Richard, a genius professor of mathematical linguistics, was apparently killed by rent boys in Los Angeles and Jay was the first on the scene.Author Dana Flynn is determined to scratch beneath the surface while researching a biography she intends to write about Richard, and finds that Jay's professional life is as precarious as his personal relationships - he uses his clients' case studies as material for his fiction writing.Such is Jay's hunger for recognition as a creative force that he exploits the vulnerable people he counsels, and a decision not to intervene when a troubled patient steals a baby, causes his past to unravel.

About the author

Aifric is the author of On the Floor, which was long listed for the Orange Prize 2012. Her previous novels are The Semantics of Murder and The Loss Adjustor. She was born in Dublin, studied in Sweden and spent 13 years as an investment banker in London and currently teaches at Imperial College, London.


Campbell shows a light and conciliatory touch... She is excellent on the symptomatic one-upmanship of academia... she clearly has a talent for direct and uncompromising character portrayal.

- Irish Times

Written in glistening prose... a major talent

- Irish Independent

An enthralling and intelligent thriller swirling with dark, beguiling shadows, The Semantics of Murder establishes Aifric Campbell as a storyteller of really immense gifts. She combines a unique sensibility with a prose of shimmering beauty. This is gripping, haunting work

- Joseph O'Connor

A tautly written thriller of ideas that asks awkward questions about the "talking cure" and its potential to blur fact with fiction... dark and damaged

- Adrian Turpin, Financial Times

A highly readable thriller... a page-turner with panache

- Araminta Wallace, Irish Times

Additional Information

Imprint: Serpent's Tail
Pages: 256
Subject: Fiction