For E. Robert Pendleton, a professor clinging to tenure and living in the shambles of his once bright literary career, death seems to be the only remaining option. But his suicide attempt fails, and during his long convalescence, a novel is discovered hidden in his basement: a brilliant, semi-autobiographical story with a gruesome child murder at its core.The publication of Scream causes a storm of publicity and raises questions about its content in particular, about the uncanny resemblance between Pendleton's fictional crime and a real life, unresolved local murder. How did Pendleton know the case so well? And why did he bury Scream in his basement?

“A wonderfully creepy murder mystery . . . an intellectually vigorous, emotionally bracing read.”—People
“Michael Collins tears into literary academe with great comic gusto.”—The New York Times Book Review   

“[Michael Collins] is one of Ireland’s major talents abroad. . . . Readers can turn the pages of E. Robert Pendleton’s secret life in equal anticipation of well-plotted thrills, of the accessible seriousness Collins’s fiction has always displayed, and of a good hoot at the literary world’s wrangles.”—Irish Times

“This combination of Michael Chabon and Harlan Coben is head and shoulders above everything else I read for consideration this month, and indeed so far this year. Superb and . . . hilariously accurate.”—Bookseller (London)

“Mystery, tragedy, and farce converge in this engaging novel of considerable psychological depth. . . . The suspense makes this a page-turner until the climax, as Collins’s plot combines academic satire, philosophical speculation, and tragedy.”—Kirkus Reviews

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