The fourth Barbara Vine novel published by Viking in 1990
On one level this is a novel about kidnapping. On another its concerns are obsession, the destructive nature of romantic illusions, and love. As Ms Vine unfolds it, nothing is quite what it seems. 1
When Sandor snatched little Joe from the path of a London Tube train, he was quick to make clear the terms of the rescue. ‘I saved your life,’ he told the homeless youngster, ‘so your life belongs to me now.’
Sandor began to tell him a fairy tale: an ageing prince, a kidnapped princess chained by one ankle, a missed rendezvous. But what did this mysterious story have to do with Sandor’s preparations? Joe had only understood his own role: he was a gallowglass, the servant of a Chief.
BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime read by Nicky Henson and Stephen Garlick in 1990.
Michael Sheen is Joe, and Paul Rhys plays Sandor in the 1993 BBC adaptation of Gallowglass.
Ruth Rendell pictured on the set of the BBC adaptation of Gallowglass.
A guide to Sudbury.
Middle Ground Theatre Company presents the world premiere stage adaptation of Gallowglass in 2018.
Contemporary Reads 2
Reginald Hill - Bones and Silence
Penelope Fitzgerald - The Gate of Angels
Henning Mankell - Faceless Killers
A.S. Byatt - Possession
Hanif Kureishi - The Buddha of Suburbia
Elizabeth Jane Howard - The Light Years
The Guardian, 1990. ↩︎
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