By Matt Lennox
“A masterful novel about crime, our need for atonement, the harsh price of loyalty and the search for family love, powerful and engrossing.”
-David Adams Richards, Giller Prize-winning author of Mercy Among the Children
“Utterly convincing and compelling – a novel with immense depth of place, peopled with characters trying to forgive those who seek redemption. Matt Lennox has made a moving, moral and true book.”
-Michael Winter, author of This All Happened
Debut novelist Matt Lennox is an exciting new voice on the literary scene. His first novel, The Carpenter, is a suspenseful, tightly plotted story set in a god-fearing small town in the eighties, rife with poisonous secrets, grudges passed on through the generations, and a dark undercurrent of crime.
The story weaves together three central characters, whose shared history and questionable decisions cause their lives to collide. Leland King has just been released after eighteen years behind bars. Sober and intent on a new start in life, he nevertheless soon finds himself dragged back into gangster life. Leland’s nephew Pete is an eighteen year old high school drop-out, intelligent but bored and desperate to leave town and his pastor step-father—until he meets a girl. Stan Martland is a retired cop, who stumbles across a dead girl in a car and is convinced despite the evidence that her death was no mere suicide.
Combining elements of southern gothic fiction with classic noir, The Carpenter is a riveting redemption tale, rendered all the more intense for Lennox’s uniquely direct style.
“Matt Lennox is a forceful and vigorous new voice on the Canadian literary scene. With intelligence and marvellous assurance, in prose direct yet incantatory, he peels open lives in small-town Ontario. He’s a born storyteller who, once he gets you in his grip, won’t let you go.”
-Catherine Bush, bestselling author of The Rules of Engagement
“Every member of the large cast lives vividly on the page. Lennox sets them free to do their best or their worst, aspiring to soar beyond the looming destinies dictated by the high school they attend, what their fathers do for living and whether either has been to jail… The monosyllabic Lee evokes the hulking, tongue-tied Gordon Rankin — Rank — the protagonist of Lynn Coady’s 2011 novel The Antagonist. Both these violent but well-intentioned men struggle to create their own narratives against suspicious family and supposed friends.”
–Winnipeg Free Press
“Lennox writes well when describing people doing things, especially under pressure.”
–Quill & Quire
“A dark, atmospheric read.”
“The Carpenter brilliantly details small-town life and the lure of revenge and retribution, all with a twist of dark humour.”
“A stunning crime drama about the strength of family bonds, love, and the consequences of our decisions.”
– CBC Books
HarperCollins Canada, March 2012