About the Book
This is Russell H. Greenan's seventh novel, published in 1979, introducing a new character to crime fiction, the highly articulate,cultured, Nigel, not averse to making a point by eating human flesh, years before the appearance of Hannibal Lecter. Nigel is kept behind bars by his politician brother whom he hates, but he has cultivated an empathetic relationship with a nurse and bides his time, discerning a special talent in a local starling, amongst other pleasures. The routine is disrupted by a new male keeper, Osgood, as a murder and its cover-up signal a change of fortune at the fortress meant to keep Nigel safely out of the way.
Russell H. Greenan was born in Manhattan in 1925 and reared in The Bronx. He attended New York public schools, graduating from Morris High in 1942. A year later, aged 17, he enlisted in the US Navy. After the war, the GI Bill enabled him to study world literature at Long Island University. In 1966 he left the US to spend a year in Nice with his wife and three children where he wrote his first novel IT HAPPENED IN BOSTON?. This novel has become a modern classic, translated into 5 languages and is included in Random House's Modern Library. Mr. Greenan's subsequent novels have been published in the US and France, and one of them, THE SECRET LIFE OF ALGERNON PENDLETON was made into a film in 1997. Though well into his eighties, Mr. Greenan continues to work. DREAD OF NIGHT is his latest work.