‘part le Carré, part Graham Greene’
‘Ireland’s best-kept secret: Philip Davison is one of our great contemporary writers.’
‘Davison never fails to surprise, compel and intrigue with dry philosophy and grim wit . . . [He] shares Beckett’s knack for making the down-at-heel appear surreal.'
―Times Literary Supplement
‘Chilly, elegant and disconcertingly comic. Rather like a collaboration between two notable Green(e)s – Graham and Henry – and quite safely described as original.'
‘Davison writes with the intelligence and intent of a James Lee Burke, flecked with the mordant wit of a Kinky Friedman.’
‘Sharp. Funny. Hip. Learned. Surprising. . . Ireland’s equivalent of Graham Greene with a dash of Le Carré and the readability of Len Deighton.’
‘a gem of a writer . . . Davison’s lean and ultra-minimalist style evokes an atmosphere that is quite surreal . . . He has a sparse and strangely matter-of-fact style of writing that gives full value to every word and act.'
‘As flawed heroes go, Harry Fielding must rank among the best of them.’
‘Sparse but gripping prose . . . Fielding’s reluctant emergence as a flawed and vulnerable latter-day Robin Hood [is] as engrossing as the labyrinthine plot.’
‘Davison has created a character in the grand tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot and Columbo.’
‘a hero who smacks of early Beckett’
‘Harry Fielding . . . is a gem: world-weary and clueless, knowing and blind.’
‘a wicked ear for conversational quirks and the minutiae of life'
‘a deceptively glib tone of wry, cool detachment'
‘Pre-eminently human . . . funny in the way that The Catcher in the Rye was funny’
Whitehall civil servant Magnus Sparling is called home to Dublin because Edwin, his father, has been accused of attempting to poison his wife. Magnus does a thorough job interrogating his father. He is discreet, patient and pragmatic, but Edwin resolutely refuses to confess. Why is Magnus convinced of Edwin’s guilt, his aunt Charlotte asks.
Magnus tells Charlotte a story that has long been suppressed in the family: an account of a few extraordinary and precious days in the past when he accompanied his father on a clandestine journey beyond the Mojave Desert to meet Edwin’s blood-mother. The more Magnus probes for the truth about the attempted poisoning, the greater is his need to relinquish old fears. What he fails to anticipate is that Charlotte, a secret fantasist, has important news to add. A compelling tale of family secrets, and love lost and regained, by a writer at the height of his powers.
Eureka Dunes is Philip Davison’s eighth published novel. The others are The Book-Thief's Heartbeat, Twist and Shout, The Illustrator, The Crooked Man, McKenzie’s Friend, The Long Suit and A Burnable Town. The Crooked Man was adapted for television (broadcast on ITV). His stage play The Invisible Mending Company was performed on the Abbey Theatre’s Peacock stage. He has co-written two television dramas: Exposure and Criminal Conversation (broadcast on RTÉ and Channel 4). He co-scripted Learning Gravity (broadcast on BBC and RTÉ), a documentary film on poet and undertaker Thomas Lynch. He has written eleven plays for radio. An adaptation of his novel Eureka Dunes was broadcast on RTÉ Radio 1 in August 2019. In 2008, he was elected to Aosdána.