I wrote this short review quite a while ago – and forgot all about it. I just found it again in my drafts so……
It has taken me quite a while to read Hawksmoor by Peter Ackroyd. this isn’t because it was boring – quite the contrary. It is a strange novel – even for Ackroyd and it is written from the perspective of two duel personalities which span hundreds of years. The first narrative is by Nicholas Dyer and architect who serves under Sir Christopher Wren. The language takes a bit of getting into but is well worth the perseverance as intrigue, plague, fire and a fascination and indoctrination into the occult weave themselves into the personality of Dyer.
Hawksmoor on the other hand is a detective. separated from Dyer by a few centuries. This is a very strange tale fraught with bygone actions and future consequences. Deja vu ensues as the past reveals and yet repeats itself, and self fulfills its own prophesy showing Aykroyd’s amazing skills yet again in esoteric matters.
Nick Dyer is a horrible character but a compelling one also. He is a product of his time, hardened by life’s experience and with a dark mysterious childhood. The inspector Hawksmoor, though eccentric, doesn’t quite take off for me and pales by comparison to Dyer. Nevertheless these two are wrapped up in a cycle of murder,intrigue and superstition. Dyers dark spires and Hawksmoor’s descent into Dyers world leave a tingly aftertaste!