Prentis, senior clerk in the 'dead crimes' department of police archives, is becoming more and more confused. Alienated from his wife and children, and obsessed by his father, a wartime hero now the mute inmate of a mental hospital, Prentis feels increasingly unsettled as his enigmatic boss, Mr Quinn, turns his investigation towards him - and his father. Gradually Prentis suspects that his father's breakdown and Quinn's menacing behaviour are connected and the link is to be found in his father's memoirs, "Shuttlecock". 'Excellent, profound' - Alan Hollinghurst, "London Review of Books". 'An astonishing study of forms of guilt, laced with a thread of detection, and puckering now and then into outrageous humour' - "Sunday Times". 'A superbly written claustrophobic account of power that corrupts private and public life and of guilt that becomes obsession' - "Daily Telegraph". 'Swift's central strength as a writer is his integrity. Story and character are treated with a seriousness and respect that while allowing for the oddity of human behaviour - "Shuttlecock" is thoroughly and beautifully odd - always honours them' - "Times Literary Supplement".
'Serious, moving and often very funny indeed' - "Observer".
Winner of Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize 1983.