The Capital of Latecomers
A thriller by Nina Nenova
Abagar, 2013 Amazon Crossing, 2015
Is human consciousness safe from the destructive power of time, as some of our greatest physicists claim? Do we have evidence to believe that lost opportunities we have left behind remain somewhere there, as an endless string of new possibilities for fulfillment? In this sci-fi crime novel, readers will enter a seemingly magical world, which may prove to be an unexpectedly accurate reflection of our own reality. A lonely painter, Rhein, has been living in seclusion for more than a year. Spending his entire fortune on this adventure, Rhein has rented a villa in an exclusive oasis, perfectly isolated from the world, and inhabited by a small group of eccentric millionaires with their servant local population.
Tormented by a profound creative crisis, Rhein suffers from a split personality, and paints solely when he falls into a trance. He never dares to look at the paintings, when he comes back to reality. His life is shaken when Vanda, his art dealer’s daughter, arrives in the oasis and introduces him into the narrow circle of the local society – among its members are a famous quantum physics professor and a boy with an odd appearance, and even odder behaviour. After a series of mysterious events, which all but convince Rhein that he has gone mad, one of the inhabitants of the oasis is found dead. A short while after, another dead body resurfaces; and then another…
He - the Wanderer - was standing there, in the corner of the room. A grey glow spread around him like fog, yet his face and body were clearly visible. He was wearing the same clothes I had seen earlier today when I tried to speak to him through the bars at the bottom of the cave. His eyes, filled with hatred and fear, were fixed on me. His lips were moving, without uttering a sound, repeating the same word: “MURDERER!”"I read the book with immense pleasure! Nina Nenova's style is recognizable. As in her other novels, the fiction here relies on scientific research, which makes the story perfectly believable." - a reader's comment on Helikon's website Read an excerpt from the novel