Mark Blacklock

Longlisted for the Walter Scott Prize 2021

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‘A singular literary achievement.’

Nina Allan, The Guardian

‘A brilliant resurrectionist raid on the past as it should have unfolded. Mark Blacklock breathes new life into the tropes of detective fiction, occult mathematics and forensic science. He makes new mysteries out of re-forgotten enigmas.’

Iain Sinclair

‘Elsewhere Blacklock’s carpentry can be exquisite: marquetry might be a better description of a four-page ghost story called ‘The Four Brothers’, supposedly by Lafcadio Hearn, inlaid in the narrative. I can’t find a story of Hearn’s by that name and it is presumably a pastiche, but it’s hard to say which possibility is more satisfying: that a perfectly snug niche has been found for an existing text or that a fable has been fabricated to dovetail with Hinton’s preoccupations.’

Adam Mars Jones, London Review of Books

‘A dazzling display of extraordinary ideas and strange historical facts brought together in a technique that disrupts ordinary notions of time, space, and causality. The ruling metaphor is the search for the unknown, the exotic, and the hidden: Europeans in Meiji Japan, prospecting for minerals in the Americas, the truth about a father’s scandalous past, etc. The many threads of narrative from different times and places are woven together in such a way that the reader is impelled by the same curiosity that drives the principal characters. It is an extraordinary achievement.’

Charles Palliser

‘Somewhere between detective novel, philosophical head-scratcher and historical page-turner, Hinton is a chimerical treat.’

Danielle Lawler, Tatler

Hinton is a refreshing, unusual and enriching tale of ‘sadness and scandal’ that, in its capacity for imaginative compassion, manages to find something ennobling in both.’

Matthew Adams, The Spectator

‘An ingenious variant on the traditional buried secret narrative.’

Anthony Cummins, The Observer

‘A superb and challenging read – this is one of the most original and dazzling novels I have read in a long time. Beautifully written. I learned a lot from this book and it really made me think – about history and literature and the nature of truth. Fantastic.’