Richie Cathar's father, Alaric, was a renaissance man: an intellectual, explorer, archaeologist and historian. He was also a man of the sixties: a fantasist, absentee parent and drug abuser. Alaric named his son after his hero, Richard, Coeur de Lion, but left him little when he died apart from conflicting memories. Now Richie, thirty-something, is in search of his own role...Following his father's trail to the Holy Land to research the Art of the Medieval Latin Kingdom, Richie's quest - to uncover the fate of Christianity's most sacred relic and the truth about his father - takes him from the high-table intrigue of Oxford to the imposing Crusader castles of Jordan, and into a passionate love affair with Noor, a Canadian-Arab journalist, whose fate will become entwined with Richie's own. Shot through with Justin Cartwright's trademark sharp observation and heartbreaking drama, Lion Heart is a thrilling, romantic and original work from one of our finest novelists.
A contemporary tale of belief, identity, the nature of fiction and the power of romance, Lion Heart is Justin Cartwright's most inventive and powerful work to date
For more than two decades I have admired Cartwright's fiction for its uncanny habit of catching the zeitgeist in nets of fine-meshed tragic-comic steel Boyd Tonkin, Independent He writes novels that testify to why exactly fiction continues to be read ... Few living British novelists write English fiction quite as well as Cartwright. The quality that sets him apart from most of his contemporaries is that, beneath the humour and the irony, he has a subtle awareness of the essential fragility of humans, however flawed Eileen Battersby, Irish Times Cartwright ... has arguably come closer than any other British novelist to achieving the kind of metaphysical prose favoured by American writers such as Philip Roth, John Updike and, above all, Saul Bellow ... Cartwright is, on the whole, an extremely talented novelist New Statesman One of our finest novelists Independent
Justin Cartwright's novels include the Booker-shortlisted In Every Face I Meet, the Whitbread Novel Award-winner Leading the Cheers, the acclaimed White Lightning, shortlisted for the 2002 Whitbread Novel Award, The Promise of Happiness, selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club and winner of the 2005 Hawthornden Prize, The Song Before It Is Sung, To Heaven By Water and, most recently, Other People's Money, winner of the Spears novel of the year. Justin Cartwright was born in South Africa and lives in London. @justincartwrig1