Hunter, $27.95 pb, 229 pp
Early in Joel Deane’s third novel, the point of view shifts from the first to the third person as the narrator, Patrick ‘Pin’ Pinnock, reflects on a moment in boyhood, standing atop a diving board at night:
He looks down and sees the white frame of the rectangular pool, but everything inside the white frame is black. The darkness within the frame is his past and future, he thinks, and the diving board is his present. To make the leap from one to the other, therefore, is an act of faith.
This ‘act of faith,’ however, suggests agency, control – a capacity to choose, from the platform of the present, to revisit the past or traverse the future despite not knowing what one will find. Deane’s protagonist lacks such agency. Instead, it is his present that is blackest. The question is to what degree the traumas that ravage him offset Pin’s reprehensible behaviour.