Maxwell's Demon is a postmodern adventure with all the twists and turns of a classic whodunnit. We follow failed writer Tom Quinn as he attempts to steal a valuable lost manuscript from the reclusive novelist Andrew Black. It’s a mission that leads him down a dangerous rabbit hole –  into an investigation of the nature of time, existence, God, immortality, the power of stories, the magic inside the alphabet, creation of the universe, and the nature of reality itself.

Can he believe the bizarre things he is experiencing, or is he being tricked - the victim of a truly monumental con job? Andrew Black says the universe is falling apart, but then, Andrew and Thomas have a complex, emotionally-entangled past. There are resentments, jealousies, unpaid receipts festering below the surface. How much of what Andrew says can Thomas truly trust? And further - can Thomas trust his own judgement when it comes to the ghosts of his past?

In addition to its big questions and mysteries, Maxwell’s Demon explores the complex relationships between parents and children, between rivals, and between siblings. Finally, at its core, it is a meditation on the fierce engines of love and loss, and what lengths we will go to change the unchangeable – to remake the world in the way that we wish it had always been.


'[a] dazzlingly smart postmodern treat. Maxwell’s Demon is both steeped in high European theory – think Calvino and Eco – and enormously enjoyable.'  OBSERVER

'an engaging, pacy mystery as well as an exploration of reality'  INDEPENDENT

'the author’s plethora of ideas and proliferating rabbit holes provides endless delights. Fans of Mark Danielewski will love this heady postmodern thriller.' PUBLISHER'S WEEKLY

'Postmodern brilliance ... superb.'  TELEGRAPH

'Part fantasy, part mystery, it is altogether delightful and filled with surprises—in a word, exceptional. No, make that two words; the second is fantastic. A rare, sui generis treat.”  BOOKLIST (starred review)

'the genius of the book is that despite it seeming like an elegant orrery, all these wheels within wheels are a carapace, a psychic armour against a grief ... Beneath this truly beautiful astrolabe is a beating human heart.'  SCOTSMAN

'In an era of ‘alternative truths’ this novel couldn’t be more timely ... a radiant and unique achievement.' —Bradford Morrow, author of The Forger’s Daughter


Maxwell's Demon is available from Waterstones,  Foyles,  Amazon, , Blackwell's , Goldsboro and all good bookshops in the UK now.


Maxwell's Demon is published by Canongate Books in the UK, Grove in the US, and Harpercollins Canada.