RaveThe Irish TimesThere is much that is familiarly Banvillian about The Secret Guests. Over his career, Banville has returned time and again to the eternally-fading grandeur of the Anglo-Irish Big House with its token cast of comic eccentrics and haunted secret-keepers ... There is also something timely about this particular mixture of fact and fiction in The Secret Guests, given how the changing political relationships between Ireland and Britain and the current decade of commemorations are compelling a re-examination of Irish and British history ... And yet, for all that, the author has great fun here. The Secret Guests is a brilliantly entertaining, conceptually inventive, and frequently funny novel that combines Banville’s stylistic virtuosity with the excitement of a well-plotted thriller. If the first half of the novel is all atmosphere and intrigue, the second half of the book is action and adventure. The chapters are short and punchy, the writing typically deft, and the drama rapidly accelerates towards its inevitable denouement. If The Secret Guests is a sign of things to come from BW Black, then there is much to anticipate.