The Trout

Peter Cunningham (Author)


At the heart of every life there lies a secret.

Alex Smyth, of Irish birth but living for many years with his wife in rural Canada, receives a trout fly in the mail, with no message and no return address. It stirs a fear that he is being stalked after the publication of his most recent book, and it awakens in him deeply buried, inchoate memories from his childhood in Ireland, before he was old enough to understand the adult world around him. It also evokes the guilt that he may have murdered a man, a feeling so strong it changes him and threatens his marriage. Alex has no choice but to return alone to Ireland and his estranged father, to try and begin to solve the mystery.

A novel of great literary beauty structured as a tense psychological thriller, The Trout is a tale of predators and prey, deception, and the hidden crimes that can shape a life. Alex's physician father loved to fish and imbued in him a deep knowledge of the sport. In brief passages, this fisherman's lore periodically comes to the surface and resonates deeply with the dark mystery at the core of the novel.

Product Details

Arcade Publishing
Publish Date
July 04, 2017
5.7 X 1.2 X 8.4 inches | 0.93 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Peter Cunningham is an award-winning novelist, who won the Prix de l'Europe and the Prix Caillou for his historical novel The Sea and the Silence. He is a member of Aosdána, the Irish Academy for Arts and Letters and lives with his wife in County Kildare, Ireland.


"Cunningham is a writer who knows exactly how to cast line after line with a deftness and grace that summon the truth from the depths of the past up to the surface, at last. . . . An absorbing and intricate story."--The New York Times Book Review

"In language that is sharp and cool and lovely, Peter Cunningham tells a darkly captivating tale of childhood angst that sparks the long haunting of a man's life. It is, like his previous novels, a thing of eerie beauty, slender in size but monumental in the memory."--Julia Keller, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Sorrow Road

"Subtle, powerful, and beautifully written, The Trout captivates from the first page and never lets up. This book provides rich, character-driven suspense of a very high order. I simply loved it."--John Lescroart, New York Times bestselling author

"There are writer's writers, and then there are reader's writers, and Peter Cunningham has the distinction of being both. The Trout is a keenly written, compulsively readable book, at once mesmerizing and beautiful."--Craig Nova, award-winning author of The Good Son and The Informer
"[A] superbly crafted psychological thriller . . . Mesmerizing."--Dermot Bolger

"A poet walks through these pages weaving time past and time present into sadness and grace."--Paul Lynch, author of Red Sky in the Morning and Black Snow

"[A} thoughtful, exquisitely told tale . . . Cunningham artfully spins several stories at once.""--Publishers Weekly

"Cunningham's engaging novel challenges us to create our own metaphors so we may, like the trout, raise our head above the surface towards truth."--Sunday Times (London)

"Hooking the reader with immediately accessible characters, The Trout is a 'read at one or two sittings' story. The gentle familiarity of the characters deceives while several layers of tension are introduced."--Bord Gáis Energy Book Club, Book of the Month

"The strong characters, the excellent pacing, the sense of mystery, the undercurrent of menace and the beauty of the writing all come together to suck you in--in what is essentially a perfect storm of a novel."--Irish Daily Mail

"A well-crafted crisply written, gripping story."--Irish Times

"With its woven motifs, its tragic memories and its reflection on the quest for beginnings, The Trout subtly explores an existence forever marked by a childhood trauma. The precise and masterful use of suspense makes this a thrilling and emotional novel."--Le Monde

"The reader is never less than fascinated."--Irish Independent

"A perfect storm of a novel . . . The Trout is a film in waiting."--Irish Daily Mail