by Anthony Quinn
Eureka begins with louche screenwriter Nat Fane blocked by language: “Nat had been staring at the word for an age […] Eureka. From the Greek, I have found it. The irony was not lost on him.” A flamboyant supporting player in Quinn’s previous novel, Freya (2016), Fane always seemed destined for the limelight, and shines in this gorgeously rendered Swinging London of 1967. Fane is adapting Henry James’ 1896 novel The Figure in the Carpet for enigmatic German director Reiner Kloss. James’ meditation on artistic obsession, in which the word “eureka” plays its part, leaks into Quinn’s narrative: previous heroine Freya Wyley becomes obsessed with Kloss just like James’ narrator does with novelist Hugh Vereker. By the end of this splendid novel, which concludes a loose trilogy, you will feel equally entranced.