The good people from Penguin Random House made an inspired choice of the venue for last Wednesday evening’s drinks ‘do’ to introduce Romanian author Eugen O Chirovici (pictured above, with Francesca Russell from PRH) and his forthcoming crime mystery The Book of Mirrors.

The Ten Bells in Spitalfields is a pub steeped in criminal – and literary – history. It takes its name from the bells in the tower of the adjacent Christ Church, which in turn featured strongly in Peter Ackroyd’s atmospheric 1985 novel, Hawksmoor. Allegedly, the pub was frequented by the victims of Jack the Ripper, and legend has it that Mary Jane Kelly, who was the subject of the final and bloodiest assault, plied her trade on the pavement outside.
eocSo, in a spookily lit upper room we met the writer, who is not only an award winning economist and has penned best-sellers in his native Romania, but also the author of a stunningly good new novel – the first he has written in English. The book is set partly in the present and partly in 1987, and it tells the story of the murder of a controversial professor of psychology at New Jersey’s Princeton University. His death is observed by different narrators, and Chirovici (left) has constructed an ingenious literary version of the old fairground attraction of distorting mirrors, so that we reach the final pages still not really sure who is giving us the correct image of events on the fateful night.
Not only is Chrirovici a very gifted writer, but he is also a very engaging person to talk to, and my colleague and I spent forty minutes or so with him, dissecting European politics and generally putting the world to rights.
Thanks to Century, we have two copies of The Book of Mirrors – which will not be generally available until January 2017 to give away. Entering couldn’t be simpler. Just email Fully Booked at:


– and write The Book of Mirrors in the subject box. The competition will close at 10.00pm GMT on Sunday 9th October, when the first two names out of the proverbial hat will win the books. Due to postage costs, the competition is open to UK and Irish Republic readers only.


  1. Competition closes 10.00pm London time on Sunday 9th October 2016.
  2. One entry per competitor.
  3. All correct entries will be put in the proverbial hat, and one winner drawn.
  4. The winner will be notified by email, and a postal address requested