Hawksmoor Background

Hawksmoor Background

Hawksmoor is a mystery novel written by the English author Peter Ackroyd. It was first published in 1985. Ackroyd's work mostly covers a societal issue or historical recaps. He won many awards for his literary works.

Hawksmoor mainly narrates the story of two men with the same name (Nicholas) but at different times. Nicholas Dyer lived in the 1700s and had 'satanic' relationships. He built churches to offer human sacrifices to devilish forces; he did that secretly without telling his manager about his real plans for the buildings. Another Nicholas Hawksmoor who lived in the 1900s was responsible for the investigation of horrendous human murders that had taken place long ago in the same churches Dyer built. Hawksmoor starts to gather clues, but the clues do not lead him to just human beings, but other unseen forces that he starts to encounter. This investigation shows how Hawksmoor and Dyer think about life.

Although various settings and people in the novel are realistic, Ackroyd denies all claims that this novel is based on a true story and says that it is 'his own invention'. Most, if not all of the readers of Hawksmoor enjoyed the unique way of Ackroyd's writing. The novel earned a 3.5 out of a 5-star rating on Goodreads and has been reviewed by several known sites. Joyce Carol Oates wrote on the book review on The New York Times website: " 'Hawksmoor' is a witty and macabre work of the imagination, intricately plotted, obsessive in its much-reiterated concerns with mankind's fallen nature. It is less a novel in the conventional sense of the word (in which, for instance, human relationships and their development are of central importance) than a highly idiosyncratic treatise, or testament, on the subject of evil." Ted Gioia also wrote in his review in Postmodern Mystery site: "The parallelism between his two contrasting stories is uncanny." Hawksmoor is indeed an intricate work of mystery and crime for the lovers of mysterious horror novels. However, it can contain disturbing descriptions of dead bodies that many would rather not read.

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