Psst! Wanna read a book that's hilarious, poignant, intriguing and intelligent, all inside one cover? Then look no further than 'A Very Persistent Illusion' by L C Tyler, which is all of those things and more.
Blurbs can sometimes be vague or misleading but this one captures the book's tone perfectly, as well as summing up the plot: Meet Chris Sorenson - middle-manager, closet poet and co-inventor of the Sorenson-Birtwistle Revised Scale of Girl-Rage. He seems to have made a modest success of his life: he has a beautiful girlfriend (Virginia), two affable future in-laws (Hugh and Daphne) and a classic sports car with a genuine leather gear stick and one good wing mirror.
But Chris's apparently stable existence is about to be sent spiralling when Hugh dies suddenly. With Virginia in tow (as well as a certain French philosopher), Chris begins to uncover the truth about Hugh, Daphne, and his own dark past.
I fell in love with the very first line (Women have many different ways of showing disapproval, only some of which are immediately apparent to men.) and things just got better from there. Hardly a word was out of place and the sections of conversation involving historical philosphers (Descartes et al), which could have seemed awkward or out of place, were a scream.
I finished the book yesterday, after a marathon reading session in the afternoon. It took me less than a week, not because it's thin or because I was skimming, but because I couldn't put it down. I laughed, I turned pages, I identified with the hero, I even cried a little. I see from Mr Tyler's website that he's written several other darkly humorous crime novels. I'll be adding them to the 'to be read' list post haste. I love it when I discover a brand new author I knew nothing about, and they turn out to be this good.