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Shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2000
Winner of the Kerry Ingredients Irish Book of the Year Award


‘A thunderous, magnificent, apocalyptic piece of prose; at once a requiem for America and an indictment of its recent past’ OBSERVER
‘Collins creates a gripping picture of slow-moving small-town life, and packs it into a treat of a murder mystery’ GUARDIAN
‘The best I’ve read this year. Unputdownable’ TIME OUT


It is the mid-80s in post-industrial America. In a small town graced with the decaying hulks of defunct factories, young journalist and college dropout Bill churns out lengthy essays on the death of industry and of America itself for The Daily Truth, whose scoops rarely rise above the latest home-bake contest.

The static summer is punctured when local bad boy Ronny Lawton reports his father missing. A dismembered finger is found and all suspect the son of murdering his hated father, but nothing can be proved. The sorry tale of the white trash Lawtons hypnotises the town and Ronny Lawton becomes a local icon. Bill becomes increasingly obsessed with the story – he gets involved with Ronny’s estranged wife, finds a decomposing human head, and ends up as a suspect in the murder case himself.

The Keepers of Truth combines a tantalising mystery with a bracing meditation on a nation on the edge. Satirical and profound, it offers a razor-sharp portrait of the American dream gone sour.

Reviews

[Collins] is a stylist, blessed with the gift of having something worth saying
SCOTSMAN
A style so arrestingly visual it hijacks the reader's concentration; dazzling with the energy and originality of the language
INDEPENDENT
Collins is a considerable stylist . . . his prose has a thoughtful, sinewy quality, a kind of subliminal toughness of mind
TELEGRAPH
Collins is undoubtedly an exciting talent, capable of writing razor-sharp prose and he has produced a gripping, stylish novel that deserves to be read
TLS
One of the most exciting talents to have emerged not only in Ireland but anywhere in recent decades
Susan Hill, THE TIMES