21 May 2015, The Tablet

Acts of the Assassins

by RichardBeard, reviewed by Susan Dowell

Authors of the best-known fictional reworkings of the Jesus story – most recently, by Philip Pullman, Naomi Alderman and Colm Tóibín – have all put their own individual spin on it. Richard Beard, in contrast, firmly roots his novels in the gospel texts. Yet this has imposed no limits to his inventive powers, as was demonstrated by his Lazarus is Dead, which was stunningly original, yet firmly based on John’s account. In his latest novel, Beard not only transposes the story and its leading characters to the present day, but tells it as a police procedural. The outrageous inappropriateness of this form combined with Beard’s pitch-perfect rendition makes Acts of the Assassins an uproariously funny read. Cassius Gallio is a detective working for the Compl
Get Instant Access

Continue Reading

Register for free to read this article in full

Subscribe for unlimited access

From just £30 quarterly

  Complete access to all Tablet website content including all premium content.
  The full weekly edition in print and digital including our 179 years archive.
  PDF version to view on iPad, iPhone or computer.

Already a subscriber? Login