Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award and the European Union Prize for Literature 2019.
“His mistakes are my inheritance. The rotten blood he gave me is the blood I will pass on.”
For twenty years, Daniel Hardesty has lived with the emotional scars of a childhood trauma which he is powerless to undo. One August morning, Daniel and his estranged father Francis—a character of irresistible charm and roiling self-pity—set out on a road trip that seems a promise to salvage their relationship.
They have one shared interest, The Artifex, a children's TV program where Fran works on set, and Daniel has been promised special access to the studio. But with every passing mile, the layers of Fran's mendacity and desperation are exposed, pushing him to acts of violence that will define the rest of his son's life.
The acclaimed author of The Ecliptic has written a novel of exceptional beauty about the bond between fathers and sons, and the invention and reconciliation of self—weaving a haunting story of lost innocence and love.
“A novel written from the gut, and with a correspondingly visceral power. A superbly unsettling account of trauma and cautious recovery.”—Sarah Waters, author of The Paying Guests
Benjamin Wood is a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at King's College London, where he teaches fiction modules and founded the PhD in Creative Writing program. His first novel The Bellwether Revivals was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize, and won one of France's foremost literary awards, Le Prix du Roman Fnac. His second novel, The Ecliptic, was shortlisted for the Encore Award and was a finalist for the Sunday Times/PFD Young Writer of the Year Award in 2016. He lives in Surrey, England, with his wife and sons.