Award-winning novelist Richard Mason was born in South Africa and lives in London. He was 21 when his first novel The Drowning People was published. It sold more than a million copies in 28 languages and won Italy’s Cavour Prize for Best First Novel. After his second novel Us, he began a collection of interconnected works that now include The Lighted Rooms, History of a Pleasure Seeker and Who Killed Piet Barol?
Who Killed Piet Barol?
“With echoes of Paul Theroux’s Mosquito Coast, Mason unspools a story rich in detail and populated with deeply flawed characters whose lives intersect in the once-pristine forest that inspires acts sacred and profane. Mason handles multiple story lines with the élan of a seasoned raconteur.”PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
This “gorgeous treat of a novel” (The Times, Book of the Month) is a funny, sexy, irreverent, and intensely moving portrait of what unites human beings when their sacred mysteries are blown apart.
Avoiding the trauma of the First World War, Piet Barol heads into Africa’s greatest forest. With a business to build and secrets to escape, he’s running out of time to make his own luck. His African guides have reasons of their own for taking him to their ancestral lands – where he finds a prize beyond his wildest imaginings. To get it, he must use every weapon at his disposal.
As the story moves to its devastating conclusion, every character becomes a suspect, and Piet’s gamble sets him on a collision course with forces he cannot control. An exquisite, deeply human tale of temptation and theft, set against the extraordinary backdrop of history in the making, Who Killed Piet Barol? affirms Richard Mason’s place among the great writers of our time.
History of a Pleasure Seeker
Piet Barol has an instinctive appreciation for pleasure and a gift for finding it. When his mother dies, Piet applies for a job as tutor to the troubled son of Europe’s leading hotelier–a child who refuses to leave his family’s mansion on one of Amsterdam’s grandest canals. As Piet enters this glittering world, he learns its secrets and finds his life transformed.A brilliantly written portrait of the senses, History of a Pleasure Seeker is an opulent, romantic coming-of-age drama set at the height of Europe’s Belle Époque, written with a lightness of touch that is wholly modern and original.
The Lighted Rooms
A stunningly incisive and poignant novel about family, duty and the challenging world of the mind. Joan McAllistair is about to embark on the ‘Trip of a Lifetime’ with her daughter Eloise; a journey back to her childhood South Africa and the family homestead in the old Boer Republic of the Orange Free State.For Eloise, the trip is partly a gift, partly a means of assuaging her guilt at moving her mother into a care home. For Joan, the discovery of her grandmother’s journal transports her to the troubled times of the Anglo-Boer war. Eloise, in the meantime, has gambled her business’s entire fortune on a promise made by an old lover.As their stories unravel, Joan takes increasing refuge in the landscape of her mind – in journeys to her own past. She also finds an unexpected friend in a lonely teenager who shares her fascination with history.
Julian’s lost his sister, Jake his lover, Adrienne her best friend. Since their days at Oxford, they’ve gone their separate ways – but none of them have come to terms with Maggie’s accidental death. She was always the headstrong one, the righter of wrongs. It was her idea to teach Jake’s childhood tormentor a lesson. But it’s those she left behind who’ve had to face the fact that lessons seldom unfold as planned..
The Drowning People
It is a cold afternoon in winter. An old man sits in a room high above the sea, watching the sun set. It is twenty-four hours since the death of his wife at Seton Castle, the home they had shared for more than forty years. And as it grows dark, he tries to make sense of a life only recently understood; and to explain how he, by no means a violent man, has come to kill in cold blood…