Gripping spy fantasy a treat

Restless, by William Boyd, Bloomsbury, €12.

16th September, 2006

Restless, by William Boyd, Bloomsbury, €12.

Writers of what Hollywood calls ‘‘high-concept’’ stories (rattling good yarns) have several rules: show, don’t tell; every scene must have story-related conflict; a subplot must reflect the arc of the main plot, and so on.

Chief among these is the importance of having a likeable protagonist. Even if he’s a vile, mob-employed child rapist, he must be a lovable rapist.

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