Bennett’s third novel is anchored in a world we don’t see nearly enough, that of vaudeville. He explores an arena of performance, and through it both lies and truth, and while he has shown us similar themes before (Mr. Shivers), the success here lies with the characters and their quirks.
George didn’t exactly run away from home to join the circus; he ran away to become a pianist on the vaudeville circuit. When he steps into the world of Heironomo Silenus, he’s about to discover more than he ever bargained for. The troupe is filled with mysteries and George knows too much — can he find his way out before he meets his doom? (ORBIT, Feb., 512 pp., $13.99)