Forthcoming in May 2024.
A suspenseful novel that delves into the complexities of a father-son relationship and the timeless themes of guilt and forgiveness.
A longboat plummets over the Great Falls, drowning the five passengers on board. The Lockmaster, the heir to an ancient title and responsible for guiding river traffic safely around this natural barrier on the White River, ought to have prevented this tragedy. His son is convinced that it was not an accident. Is his irascible father a murderer? A hydraulic engineer all too familiar with the brute force of rivers, he sets out to discover the truth and find his missing father.
The Lockmaster is a dramatic tale set in a world where water has become a precious commodity and Europe has fractured into warring ethno-nationalist entities desperate to uphold the traditions and insignia of a so-called glorious bygone era. Christoph Ransmayr recounts this story in his trademark style, its epic force shot through with visions of future technology and reactionary politics amid a climate breakdown. At heart, though, this novel is the story of a father–son relationship straddling the fault lines between past and present and an exploration of timeless questions of guilt and forgiveness.