*Scotiabank Giller Prize Finalist*
A darkly comic literary thriller about a woman who fears for her sanity—and then her life—when she learns that her doppelganger has appeared in a local park.
Jean Mason has a doppelganger. She's never seen her, but others swear they have. Apparently, her identical twin hangs out in Kensington Market, where she sometimes buys churros and drags an empty shopping cart down the streets, like she's looking for something to put in it. Jean's a grown woman with a husband and two kids, as well as a thriving bookstore in downtown Toronto, and she doesn't rattle easily—not like she used to. But after two customers insist they've seen her double, Jean decides to investigate.
She begins at the crossroads of Kensington Market: a city park called Bellevue Square. Although she sees no one who looks like her, it only takes a few visits to the park for her to become obsessed with the possibility of encountering her twin in the flesh. With the aid of a small army of locals who hang around in the park, she expands her surveillance, making it known she'll pay for information or sightings. A peculiar collection of drug addicts, scam artists, philanthropists, philosophers and vagrants—the regulars of Bellevue Square—are eager to contribute to Jean's investigation. But when some of them start disappearing, she fears her alleged double has a sinister agenda. Unless Jean stops her, she and everyone she cares about will face a fate much stranger than death.
MICHAEL REDHILL is a novelist, poet, playwright and former publisher of Brick. He is the author of the novels Consolation and Martin Sloane, a finalist for the 2001 Giller Prize; the short story collection Fidelity; and the poetry collection Light-Crossing; among other acclaimed works. The author lives in Toronto, ON.
Shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize
"The opening chapters of this new opus, Bellevue Square, stick closely to the grip-lit script: simple, compelling prose, sudden plot twists, looming violence and a female narrator who swiftly proves unreliable. But as the reader becomes more and more absorbed in the story, the book quietly becomes something else. Something mystifying and haunting and entirely its own. . . . Reading Bellevue Square is as captivating as it is unsettling. . . . This modern ghost story . . . will not soon be forgotten." —Toronto Star
"Longlisted for the Giller Prize, Bellevue Square is something of a performance. . . . In its taut span of 262 pages, Bellevue Square features several narrative and tonal hairpin turns. With each of these, our admiration for Redhill's storytelling dexterity burgeons. . . . I'd rather be lost in Redhill's ghost story than grounded in your average slab of tasteful literary realism." —The Globe and Mail
"Sit yourself down in Bellevue Square and watch as parallel worlds collide. Redhill has written a mind-blowing brainteaser of a novel with plot twists worthy of David Lynch. A brilliant tribute to those among us whose brains are wired differently." —Neil Smith, author of Boo
"By turns harrowing and mesmerizing." —Quill & Quire