... brooding ... Power, a literary critic in London, surely must have been thinking of Graham Greene’s The Third Man when he wrote this elegant suspense novel ... like the best noir fiction, manages to be both suspenseful and cosmically destabilizing. Nothing and no one are what they first appear to be ... a superb suspense novel, imbued with moral and narrative complexity and an omnipresent low cloud cover of dread.
... elegant ... I greatly enjoyed the story within a story presented here, especially since Chris Power loosely draws from his own life to fill out the details, creating a third metaphysical layer for readers to unfold. Rarely have the ethics and craft of fictionalization made for such compelling, thrilling reading. Too often, the juxtaposition of genres—particularly one so vital as crime with the more inward-facing studies of the literary—makes for a dull or confusing read as authors choose the form of intellectualism over the function of entertainment. Mr. Power, however, deftly balances his influences to present a suspenseful yet still thoughtful novel of trust and belief and what we, writers or otherwise, owe to the people we spin our stories around.
Chris Power’s elegant first novel is a slyly ensnaring literary thriller written in immaculate prose ... an almost self-effacing commitment to unadorned clarity ... Power’s restraint pays off, making for a subtly immersive read, his sentences rippling like clear water even as the story’s murkier undertow pulls you out to sea. He doesn’t skimp on themes either, raising interesting questions about whether stories draw their power from reality or imagination, who (if anyone) owns them, and what privileges narrative control confers on the teller. Contemporary socio-political issues aside, A Lonely Man is a gripping and deftly controlled novel that proves Power is as good at writing books as he is at writing about them.