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The Night Watchman

Richard Zimler

5 Reviews

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Fiction, Crime & mystery

A chilling psychological mystery, The Night Watchman is a uniquely moving portrait of a troubled police detective and his family, from the internationally best-selling author of The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon

Chief Inspector Henrique Monroe of the Lisbon Police Department is not your usual cop. Eccentric, elliptical and stunningly observant his peculiar behavior at crime scenes is legendary. But his colleagues put up with it because, in the end, Monroe s the best of the best. But he has a double-sided secret. And when he s called to investigate the brutal slaying of well-connected Portuguese businessman Pedro Coutinho, it s not just the murder case that will unravel but his own identity, too.

As Monroe s investigations lead him deep into a torrid world of shady political corruption and sexual violence, the details of the case trigger memories from his childhood in rural Colorado memories he has travelled far, and worked hard, to hide. His behavior becomes even more upsetting and inappropriate than usual, and even his family his wife, his brother and his two young boys start to fear for the man they thought they knew.

Henrique struggles to move his investigation forward whilst keeping the walls of his identity from crumbling. And then, another violent crime changes his life forever, destroying any chance he has of continuing to keep his secret . . .

A chilling psychological mystery, The Night Watchman is a uniquely moving portrait of a troubled police detective and his family when a single crime reveals the damaging impact of abuse and the tragic truth about an entire nation.

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Praise for The Night Watchman

  • Zimler is a present-day scholar and writer of remarkable erudition and compelling imagination. An American Umberto Eco. - Spectator

  • Zimler has this spark of genius, which critics can t explain but readers recognise, and which every novelist desires but few achieve - Independent

  • An honest, powerful writer. - Guardian

  • The Night Watchman keeps the reader absolutely riveted to the story. This is Zimler s best novel: tightly constructed, driven by realistic dialogue, and with all the action held together in a web of keen psychological insight. - Sabado (Portugal)

  • The Night Watchman is an extremely ambitious and terrific book from one of the most interesting and versatile novelists around. - Nicholas Shakespeare

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Richard Zimler

Richard Zimler was born in Manhasset, New York. After gaining degrees in comparative religion from Duke University and in journalism from Stanford University, he worked as a journalist. In 1990, he moved to Porto, Portugal, where he has taught journalism for the last twelve years.

He has published four novels since 1996: Unholy Ghosts, The Angelic Darkness, The Last Kabbalist of Lisbon -- named 1998 Book of the Year by three British critics and a bestseller in eleven countries -- and Hunting Midnight, also a bestseller.

Zimler has won many prizes for his writing, and has lectured on Portuguese-Jewish culture all over the world. When not writing, he enjoys gardening at his weekend house in the north of Portugal.

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