Exchange Place

Ciaran Carson
Exchange Place

A bomb, a spy, a vanished friend. Multiple parallel worlds.

‘Exchange Place is gloriously uncategorisable. Robbe-Grillet would have welcomed it, as would Queneau and Perec, but Hammett and Chandler too would have tipped the brims of their trilbys in salute. A wonderful intellectual romp.’ John Banville

He took out his watch and looked at it. He rested for one minute as timed on his watch. He opened the briefcase and took out a passport and a pair of spectacles. He put the spectacles on and looked at the passport, and realised he was the man in the picture. A gunshot rang out.

Part thriller, part spy novel, Exchange Place is set between Belfast and Paris and tracks the individual movements of two men, John Kilfeather and John Kilpatrick, who are trying to solve a mystery concerning a lost friend, a missing notebook and a gun. But this is no ordinary mystery and the usual rules don’t apply. Appearances are deceptive; identities dissolve, become slippery; and it’s easy to lose track of who you are in the winding streets and passageways of the city. Ciaran Carson’s new novel is poetic, profound and gripping. It deals with identity and translation, with disappearing and reinventing yourself, with the effects of being continually observed – this is a mystery story that only Carson could have written.

‘The phrase ‘literary thriller’ is at times too loosely applied, but Carson’s book is a ‘true’ example of the form at the stage of saturation. It is exhilarating’ Times Literary Supplement

‘Carson is a conjurer with language … His eye lights on an astonishing miscellany of fact and fantasy, but remains sharply focused throughout.’ The Times


  • Blackstaff Press UK & Ireland
  • Del Vecchio Editore Italy

Material: finished copies (192pp)