Omphalos

Omphalos

Fiction

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About the book

When Eugene DeLint, the head of Omphalos, the world's dominant philanthropic organization, is found murdered, Detective Kevin Beldon is called in. Beldon, who readers will be familiar with from Lynch's previous novels, Missing Children and Troutstream, has been on medical leave, and he brings along much personal and professional baggage: his wife Cynthia is a recent suicide, his absent son Bill is a disappointment, and his daughter Kelly, who began her legal career at Omphalos, is emotionally distant with him. Kevin still hasn't gotten over his failed attempt at solving the so-called Widower serial killings. And he still believes that the escaped Widower was somehow connected to Omphalos. Secretly he views Eugene DeLint's murder as a last chance to solve the Widower case and so absolve his wife the sin of suicide.

About the author

Lynch, Gerald Gerald Lynch was born in Ireland and grew up in Canada. Missing Children is his fifth book of fiction, the third set in the Ottawa suburb of Troutstream, and preceded by the acclaimed novels Troutstream (1995) and Exotic Dancers (2001). He has also authored two books of non fiction, edited a number of books, and published many short stories and essays and reviews. He has been the recipient of a number of awards for his writing, including the gold award for short fiction in Canada’s National Magazine Awards. He teaches at the University of Ottawa. Visit Gerald's website here: http://geraldlynch.weebly.com/

Excerpt

Kevin needed to work his own way to the imagined condition of complete knowledge, not be plunked into it like some VirtLife video game. MYCROFT would throw up its overload of information that would occupy a Forensics team of twenty for weeks just to begin evaluating and indicating possible paths to follow. But no machine was going to solve this crime. Because no soulless thing, whatever its super-learner algorithms, could ever do what Kevin’s mind was already doing: sensing, anticipating, hunching, thinking, imagining, guessing—leaping … Okay, okay, he thought, joyfully head-butting the steering wheel—factioning! Factioning: the term a University of Ottawa professor had coined to explain Detective Kevin Beldon’s gift for detection. During study towards his Masters degree in Criminology, Kevin had volunteered to be the subject of a study that had produced an academic article in a fat French periodical called Criminel. The word factioning had stuck. It made equal sense (little) in either language in stubbornly bilingual Ottawa. He’d come to detest the word, because its jargon and simplification wanted to leave him out of the process altogether, his mind, his soul. At only a bit of a stretch, the article could as well have been talking about MYCROFT. Kevin had taken to insisting to the curious that his method was just the old mixture of close observation, exhaustive research, repetition, memory-work, logic, repetition, and the play of reason and imagination. But an ambitious academic’s slick lie had become truth, and in the general public’s mind (thank you yet again, Macro Media) the odd word factioning had become synonymous with the odd Beldon.

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