Twenty-nine years after his disappearance on the Iranian-Turkish border, Jack Messenger’s remains come to light. Travel writer, possible spy and murder victim, Jack was as enigmatic in life as he was in death, leaving a host of unanswered questions – and repercussions – for his son, Sebastian. When Jack’s old friend and would-be doppelgänger, the celebrity academic Rhys Salvatore seeks out Sebastian at a conference, old questions begin to be answered only to raise new ones. As layers of secrecy are gradually stripped away, Sebastian begins to understand Rhys’s role in his own childhood and in his parents’ lives. He begins to recognise that he cannot remain a ‘self-impersonator’ but must confront his own past, his behavioural patterns and even his personal identity, before he can find the key to his future.
Author of Into Suez (2010) and many other acclaimed novels, Stevie Davies turns here to the different demands of the novella, revealing her mastery of this shorter form of fiction. Exploring themes of love, friendship and betrayal, of ways of living honestly or vicariously, she skilfully blends past and present in an arresting, poetic and thoughtful narrative, alert to subtle changes of mood and feeling. Geographically wide-ranging and richly allusive but always sharply focused, Equivocator is a remarkable, unforgettable work of fiction.
‘Davies possesses a considerable gift in her ability to draw sharply delineated images and portraits, and such instances ensure that this impressive novella – so rooted in the past – retains dramatic urgency in its present moment.’
New Welsh Review
‘Lost memories re-emerge, cherished memories prove to be false, secrets have been kept in order to protect, and some questions simply cannot be broached. ‘The magic is in the quest’ […] ‘to seek out truth in the temple of forgetting.’ Equivocator is quite simply Stevie Davies at her best.’