My Name is Michael Sibley
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FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY John Le Carré : "This novel comprises some of the best work of an extremely gifted and perhaps under-regarded British crime novelist . . . What gave John Bingham his magic was something we look for in every writer, too often in vain: an absolute command of the internal landscape of his characters, acutely observed by a humane but wonderfully corrosive eye". Michael Sibley and John Prosset shared a history that dated back to their first years at boarding school, and so the news of Prosset's murder came as a great shock to his old friend - especially because Sibley had been staying only the day before at Prosset's country house, where the body was found. When the police arrive to question him in connection with the murder, Sibley finds himself lying about his recent visit, and thus begins to reveal the true nature of a longstanding but volatile friendship, fraught with mutual deception and distrust. As he tells his version of the truth to the police - and to the reader - Sibley makes the first of many fateful mistakes and finds himself not only under suspicion, but a primary suspect in the investigation. Seen through the eyes of Sibley himself, My Name Is Michael Sibley is a mesmerizing account of murder, as the narrator purposefully attempts to elude the police and prove his innocence to the reader in the same breath.
just share of everything, and was duly protected against unfair aggression. Like the king’s jester, too, unsuspected by everybody I was often extremely unhappy. It got to the stage where I used to look forward to the occasional days when Prosset might be away from the dining-room table playing an away match for the Second Fifteen, and later, for the First Fifteen. Once, when he was in bed for a week with a touch of influenza, the lightening of the oppressive atmosphere which pressed down so
of the evening with my fiancée.” “What time did you arrive at Miss Marsden’s place, and what time did you leave?” “I got there about 9:15 p.m. and I left at about one o’clock in the morning.” “How did you come home?” “How did I come home?” I repeated feebly. “Yes, sir, how did you come home? I suppose you haven’t forgotten that, have you, sir?” “No, of course not. I did not take my car that night. I walked down to Oxford Street looking for a taxi, but I did not find one until I got to
speaking. Eventually, noticing that her hand lay on the sofa between us, I placed mine on top of hers. I had kissed her several times on the evenings when I had taken her out. They are a practical people in Palesby, and when you take a girl out and pay for a seat for her at the cinema, you are considered perfectly entitled to try to get a goodnight kiss on the doorstep. You may not get it, but nobody thinks a whit the worse of you for trying. In fact, the young men sedulously hand down from one
when I arrived. He said it was a shame he had had to ask me to break my holiday in such lovely weather. Then, although he had not asked me much about the Prosset case until now, he said, “What’s happening in that bloody case of yours? Dickson says they think it is murder.” “Quite a lot is happening,” I said, “and most of it in the wrong direction. They questioned me myself like mad, two or three times. I began to feel myself figuring in one of those paragraphs which say it is understood that a
what?” I asked patiently. “Lies and shuttlecocking about the place. See here, Sibley, take my advice. Stop all this dodging. It’s doing you no good. How many suits have you got?” he asked suddenly. I knew what he was getting at. “Four—and two or three pairs of grey flannels and a sports jacket.” “I’m not interested in your flannels or your damned sports jacket. My question was how many suits have you got?” “Well, four, then. As I said.” “How many had you a week ago?” “A week ago?” “You