A Very Private Gentleman (Hardcover)

By Martin Booth

Thomas Dunne Books, 9780312309084, 288pp.

Publication Date: January 1, 2004



The locals in the southern Italian town where he lives call him Signor Farfalla--Mr. Butterfly: for he is a discreet gentleman who paints rare butterflies. His life is inconspicuous--mornings spent brushing at a canvas, afternoons idling in the cafes, and evening talks with his friend the town priest over a glass of brandy.

Yet there are other sides to this gentleman's life: Clara: the young student who moonlights in the town bordello. And another woman who arrives with $100,000 and a commission, but not for a painting of butterflies.

With this assignment returns the dark fear that has dogged Signor Farfalla's mysterious life. Almost instantly, he senses a deadly circle closing in on him, one which he may or may not elude. Part thriller, part character study, part drama of deceit and self-betrayal, A Very Private Gentleman shows Martin Booth at the very height of his powers

About the Author

Martin Booth is a critically acclaimed novelist and a documentary and feature film writer. He has written thirteen novels including "Islands of Silence," "Hiroshima Joe," and "The Industry of Souls." His most recent non-fiction books include "Opium: A History" and "The Doctor, the Detective and Arthur Conan Doyle "-- a biography of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

Praise For A Very Private Gentleman

"Haunting, shocking, and tense, Booth's story is a charismatic blend of psychological thriller, vivid drama, shocking morality tale, and profound psychological study. His writing is crisp yet lyrical, simple yet intelligent. Readers looking for thought-provoking literary fiction can't do any better than this."
- Booklist (starred review)

"Booth constructs his most focused, tightly written novel to date, reminiscent of William Trevor's classic Felicia's Journey and the late Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels."
- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Beautifully detailed...exquisite." - Kirkus