Saturday, July 29, 2006

Knowing and Not

If you’re left a bit dazed and baffled when you try to get a grip on the current London film, music and journalism mileux, Cathi Unsworth is your ideal guide. Her first mystery, The Not Knowing, swerves jauntily across these environments, as she tells her story while a lively sountrack ranging from rockabilly to new bands from Northern England plays in the background. A hot film director is found murdered in a scene straight out of his latest picture; journalist Diana Kemp – who dated the director when he was unknown – and her colleagues at the new magazine Lux are especially interested in the killing because they have in hand the director’s last interview. Unsworth dedicates her book to Derek Raymond, a mad radical writer of the 1960s and 70s now happily coming back into favor, and to Ken Bruen, the Irish roustabout novelist whose latest effort is reviewed below. It’s an impressive outing: read it on the plane to London.