Art, truth and madness come to blows in this darkly funny debut novel from a startling new talent.

The Backstreets of Purgatory

Helen Taylor

12th July 2018 | Hardback £18.99

Finn Garvie’s life is one spectacular mess. He spends most of his time fannying around a makeshift Glasgow studio, failing to paint his degree portfolio, while his girlfriend Lizzi treats him like one of her psychology patients, and his best friend Rob is convinced that the tattoos he designs are the height of artistic achievement.

To top it all, Finn is worried that some stinking bastard is hanging around, spying on him, laughing at his cock-ups and eating his leftover curry. Fortunately, he has plenty of techniques to distract him – tackling the church hall renovations with the help of his alcoholic neighbour; pining after Kassia, the splendidly stroppy au-pair; and re-reading that book on Caravaggio, his all-time hero.

Things take a turn for the strange when he finally encounters the person who’s been bugging him, and it seems to be none other than Caravaggio himself…

About the author

Helen Taylor is a writer living in France. The Backstreets of Purgatory is her first book.

My review

A debut novel that really shows so much talent.

I really enjoyed this novel and it’s not normally what I would read but I have been stretching my reading genres.

The characters draw you into the story and are very well written. This novel and any others coming from the author are definitely to watch for. Certainly a best seller.

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