My Name is Michael Sibley: A Novel

3.65 avg rating
( 40 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9781416540472: My Name is Michael Sibley: A Novel
View all copies of this ISBN edition:
 
 

FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY JOHN LE CARRÉ

"This novel comprises some of the best work of an extremely gifted and perhaps under-regarded British crime novelist....What gave John Bingham his magic was something we look for in every writer, too often in vain: an absolute command of the internal landscape of his characters, acutely observed by a humane but wonderfully corrosive eye."

Michael Sibley and John Prosset shared a history that dated back to their first years at boarding school, and so the news of Prosset's murder came as a great shock to his old friend -- especially because Sibley had been staying only the day before at Prosset's country house, where the body was found.

When the police arrive to question him in connection with the murder, Sibley finds himself lying about his recent visit, and thus begins to reveal the true nature of a longstanding but volatile friendship, fraught with mutual deception and distrust. As he tells his version of the truth to the police -- and to the reader -- Sibley makes the first of many fateful mistakes and finds himself not only under suspicion, but a primary suspect in the investigation.

Seen through the eyes of Sibley himself, My Name Is Michael Sibley is a mesmerizing account of murder, as the narrator purposefully attempts to elude the police and prove his innocence to the reader in the same breath.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

John Bingham - aka Lord Clanmorris, aka Michael Ward - was a British intelligence officer and novelist. Over the course of thirty years, he served MI5 in various high-ranking capacities, including undercover agent, and pseudonymously published more than fifteen extraordinary novels, including My Name Is Michael Sibley, A Fragment of Fear, and I Love, I Kill. Bingham died in 1988.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1

Sometimes it had been hard work, but I had succeeded, and now indeed I was on top of the world. I had a good job, a market for my spare-time writing, a small private income, and I had Kate. I had her safely now, and she had me, and the future belonged to us to carve as we wished.

Some people can go through life alone, and they do not mind; in fact, they revel in their own self-sufficiency; others need a human refuge to whom they can fly in trouble, or simply somebody to whom they can return at night after the stresses of the day's work. Poor Ackersley, the assistant housemaster, had been like that, and Geoffries, the Lascar seaman, and so was Kate. Kate, so shy and sensitive, was the last person in the world to be by herself.

Yet it had fallen to her to spend a great deal of her life alone. There had been one brief and passionate interlude, I gathered, with a young man in one of the offices in which she had worked, and then there had been nothing; nothing and nobody until I came along, and I, who began by being sorry for her, ended by loving her. It was a story with a happy ending.

I hummed contentedly as I strolled along towards Harrington Gardens that lovely summer evening. I was in one of those moods when you are acutely conscious of the beauty of small, everyday things; I noted how the movement of a small cloud set the sunlight racing from a red chimney pot, down the house wall, and along the road, so that a stunted lilac tree and some laurel bushes suddenly shimmered with a new light, a country green, and the whole grey waste of stucco houses seemed to glow with warmth and friendliness. A ginger cat sat licking its paws on the doorsteps of a house, and looking up at a window I saw a girl on a stepladder hanging up a clean net curtain. As I passed, she looked out into the street and our eyes met, and she smiled; not coquettishly, but as if to show that she knew she looked rather funny perched on that ladder, but didn't care because it was such a lovely evening and so good to be alive. I continued on my way, and let myself into my digs with my key.

I intended staying in, that evening, to finish a short story, and had never felt better in my life or in finer trim for writing. As a professional writer, I knew that to wait for the right mood before beginning work means long periods of idleness and brief periods of writing; nevertheless, there are times when you have more zest for it than others, and I felt I was going to do well that evening. A few seconds after I had gone to my room, Ethel, the maid, who must have been listening for my return, knocked on the door.

She told me that two men who had not given their names had called during the afternoon and asked for me. On being told that I was not in, they said they would return about eight o'clock in the evening.

"Did they say what it was about?"

"No; they just said they hoped you would be in, as it was rather important."

"What did they look like?"

She shrugged her shoulders. "Just ordinary. One was middleaged, and the other youngish."

I knew a couple of French correspondents with whom I sometimes spent an evening, but I thought it unlikely that they would expect to find me in during the afternoon.

"Were they English, do you think?"

"Oh, yes; there was nothing funny about them."

"Well, I'll be in all this evening. Show them straight in when they arrive, eh?"

Upon reflection, I guessed that they were police officers. They would possibly want a few details about Prosset. More likely, the main purpose of their visit would be to tell me that I might have to appear as a witness at the inquest. I did not mind. Inquests held no terrors for me; I had attended hundreds as a newspaper reporter.

I shall never forget the shock I received when I opened the paper and read about the way Prosset had died.

There was not very much to read. Just a small paragraph saying that the body of a man identified as John Prosset, of Oxford Terrace, London, had been found in the burnt-out wreckage of a cottage at Ockleton, Sussex. The discovery had been made by a woman from the village who went three times a week to clean the cottage.

I put our local correspondent on the job within the hour, and by midday he was on the telephone to me. But he said that there was little he could add at the moment. According to the local police, an empty whisky bottle and two or three beer bottles had been found near the body; and an inquest would be held. It was believed that he had been dead since about midnight.

"Did you go to the cottage yourself?" I asked.

"No, I didn't. I had another job on hand. It didn't seem worth it. He'd spent the weekend alone, and obviously got tight and set the house on fire. There's nothing in it, but I can go down there, if you like."

I told him not to go. Bitterly I regretted it later. Had he gone, things might have been so different. But the fact is, once the shock of Prosset's death was over, I saw nothing surprising in the correspondent's report. I knew he liked whisky.

I had seen the small heap of bottles by the back door as recently as Saturday, the day before Prosset was to die in the flames and smoke. I had gone down to stay with him on the Saturday. Previously, I had cancelled the visit; but then, in the end, I had gone all the same, and stayed until early Sunday morning, when I had driven back.

Had I stayed on, I reflected, the thing would probably never have happened. Prosset would still be alive and well.

I looked at them curiously when they arrived.

The Chief Detective Inspector was a broad-shouldered man, well above average height. I should say he was in his late forties. He had a round head, with closely cropped fair hair, receding slightly at the temples, and a brick-red face so keenly shaven that it seemed to radiate hygiene and good health. His features were regular, the nose and jaw clean-cut, but the lips were thin and the general impression you had was of a hard character in which sympathy, or indeed any of the more human emotions, had long since died. His eyes were not large, but were of a curious light brown, tawny colour, and he very rarely seemed to blink; it was as though he were afraid to allow his eyes to shut for even a fraction of a second, in case he missed something.

He did not impress me as the sort of man who would have a single one of those endearing little habits or whimsical sayings which are so often attributed to police officers. He wore a reasonably well-cut black pinstripe suit, a white shirt and hard collar, a dark-grey tie, black Homburg hat, and carried dark-brown gloves and a black briefcase.

The Detective Sergeant was a very different type.

He was slim and dark, aged about thirty-two, and when he spoke I noted that his voice still retained a slight Welsh lilt. His face was naturally sallow, the nose rather pronounced. His eyes were large and dark, and he wore a clipped military-style moustache. To offset his grey flannel suit he wore a green tie with a thin white stripe, which might have been the tie of some cricket club or school, and brown shoes; he, too, carried gloves.

I summed them up as a first-class working team: the Inspector, a competent, ruthless, police machine, thorough, well versed in the routine methods of crime detection, highly experienced. And the Sergeant, more mentally elastic, more subtle, helped by the imaginative strain in his Celtic blood.

When I had closed the door, the elder man said, "We are police officers." He introduced himself and his colleague, and as he did so he dipped his right hand into his jacket pocket, flashed a warrant card in a leather holder, and replaced it. The movement was slick and smooth, synchronizing with his words. You had the impression of a man who had spent so many years of his life doing the same thing that it had become second nature. You could see him, day after day, saying, "We are police officers," and following the words with that quick movement with the warrant card.

Probably nobody had ever had the courage to demand to examine it more closely. It occurred to me that for all practical purposes it might just as well have been a golf scorecard or a laundry list.

The Inspector said, "It's about the death of Mr. Prosset, sir."

"Sit down. What about a drink?"

The Inspector lowered himself carefully into my smaller armchair, placing his hat on the floor beside him. The Sergeant went and sat on the bed-settee by the wall. I thought they might refuse my offer, but they didn't.

"Thank you," said the Inspector. "Don't suppose a drop would do us any harm."

He looked across at the Sergeant, who said he didn't suppose it would either. The Sergeant smiled, showing good white teeth. I went across to a corner cupboard, and poured out three whiskies and sodas. While I did so, the Inspector opened his briefcase and brought out a buff-coloured folder containing papers. I handed them their drinks.

"Cheerio," I said.

"Good health, sir," said the Inspector.

"Cheers," murmured the Sergeant.

"It's just a routine call," went on the Inspector. "As I said, it's about the death of Mr. Prosset. You've seen it in the papers, I expect."

"Yes, I have. I thought you'd call."

"Why, sir?" The Inspector looked at me with his hard, pebble eyes.

"Because I knew him very well. Besides, I'm a newspaper reporter. I know a certain amount about police methods."

"Well, that's an interesting job, I expect, sir. Better paid than ours, too." He smiled ruefully, and looked across at the Sergeant.

"I don't suppose my pension will be as big as yours, even supposing I get one," I replied. We discussed our different jobs for a few moments. Police officers are easy to get on with. They meet all sorts and classes of people, and are good conversationalists.

"Well, Mr. Sibley," said the Inspector at length, "I don't suppose we'll keep you very long. I would just like you to tell us what you know of Mr. Prosset. I'd be very grateful, sir."

He spoke now in a polite, almost wheedling tone, in striking contrast to the natural harshness of his voice when he was not asking a favour.

"I'll tell you all I can."

I was on the poin...

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9781499556179: My Name is Michael Sibley

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  1499556179 ISBN 13:  9781499556179
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishi..., 2014
Softcover

9780575014619: My Name is Michael Sibley

Little..., 1972
Hardcover

9780140081183: My Name Is Michael Sibley (Classic Crime)

Pengui..., 1987
Softcover

9780330484039: My Name is Michael Sibley (Pan Classic Crime)

Pan Books, 2000
Softcover

9780586023686: My Name is Michael Sibley

Harper..., 1970
Softcover

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

John Bingham
Published by Simon and Schuster
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon and Schuster. Condition: New. Brand New. Seller Inventory # 1416540474

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 9.41
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.60
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

2.

John Bingham
Published by SIMON SCHUSTER, United States (2007)
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
Book Depository International
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY JOHN LE CARRE This novel comprises some of the best work of an extremely gifted and perhaps under-regarded British crime novelist.What gave John Bingham his magic was something we look for in every writer, too often in vain: an absolute command of the internal landscape of his characters, acutely observed by a humane but wonderfully corrosive eye. Michael Sibley and John Prosset shared a history that dated back to their first years at boarding school, and so the news of Prosset s murder came as a great shock to his old friend -- especially because Sibley had been staying only the day before at Prosset s country house, where the body was found. When the police arrive to question him in connection with the murder, Sibley finds himself lying about his recent visit, and thus begins to reveal the true nature of a longstanding but volatile friendship, fraught with mutual deception and distrust. As he tells his version of the truth to the police -- and to the reader -- Sibley makes the first of many fateful mistakes and finds himself not only under suspicion, but a primary suspect in the investigation. Seen through the eyes of Sibley himself, My Name Is Michael Sibley is a mesmerizing account of murder, as the narrator purposefully attempts to elude the police and prove his innocence to the reader in the same breath. Seller Inventory # AAV9781416540472

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.53
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

3.

John Bingham
Published by Simon and Schuster (2007)
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Quantity Available: > 20
Print on Demand
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon and Schuster, 2007. PAP. Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. THIS BOOK IS PRINTED ON DEMAND. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # IQ-9781416540472

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 11.88
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

4.

John Bingham
Published by SIMON SCHUSTER, United States (2007)
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Print on Demand
Seller:
The Book Depository
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY JOHN LE CARRE This novel comprises some of the best work of an extremely gifted and perhaps under-regarded British crime novelist.What gave John Bingham his magic was something we look for in every writer, too often in vain: an absolute command of the internal landscape of his characters, acutely observed by a humane but wonderfully corrosive eye. Michael Sibley and John Prosset shared a history that dated back to their first years at boarding school, and so the news of Prosset s murder came as a great shock to his old friend -- especially because Sibley had been staying only the day before at Prosset s country house, where the body was found. When the police arrive to question him in connection with the murder, Sibley finds himself lying about his recent visit, and thus begins to reveal the true nature of a longstanding but volatile friendship, fraught with mutual deception and distrust. As he tells his version of the truth to the police -- and to the reader -- Sibley makes the first of many fateful mistakes and finds himself not only under suspicion, but a primary suspect in the investigation. Seen through the eyes of Sibley himself, My Name Is Michael Sibley is a mesmerizing account of murder, as the narrator purposefully attempts to elude the police and prove his innocence to the reader in the same breath. Seller Inventory # AAV9781416540472

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.12
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

5.

Bingham, John
Published by Simon & Schuster 7/17/2007 (2007)
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Paperback or Softback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon & Schuster 7/17/2007, 2007. Paperback or Softback. Condition: New. My Name Is Michael Sibley. Book. Seller Inventory # BBS-9781416540472

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 16.78
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

6.

John Bingham
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
ReadWhiz
(Portland, OR, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Condition: New. Seller Inventory # ria9781416540472_ing

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 18.24
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

7.

John Bingham
Published by Simon & Schuster
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Paperback Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
BuySomeBooks
(Las Vegas, NV, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon & Schuster. Paperback. Condition: New. 272 pages. Dimensions: 8.2in. x 5.4in. x 0.8in.FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY JOHN LE CARR This novel comprises some of the best work of an extremely gifted and perhaps under-regarded British crime novelist. . . . What gave John Bingham his magic was something we look for in every writer, too often in vain: an absolute command of the internal landscape of his characters, acutely observed by a humane but wonderfully corrosive eye. Michael Sibley and John Prosset shared a history that dated back to their first years at boarding school, and so the news of Prossets murder came as a great shock to his old friend -- especially because Sibley had been staying only the day before at Prossets country house, where the body was found. When the police arrive to question him in connection with the murder, Sibley finds himself lying about his recent visit, and thus begins to reveal the true nature of a longstanding but volatile friendship, fraught with mutual deception and distrust. As he tells his version of the truth to the police -- and to the reader -- Sibley makes the first of many fateful mistakes and finds himself not only under suspicion, but a primary suspect in the investigation. Seen through the eyes of Sibley himself, My Name Is Michael Sibley is a mesmerizing account of murder, as the narrator purposefully attempts to elude the police and prove his innocence to the reader in the same breath. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9781416540472

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.79
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

8.

Bingham, John
Published by Simon & Schuster (2016)
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Print on Demand
Seller:
Ria Christie Collections
(Uxbridge, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. PRINT ON DEMAND Book; New; Publication Year 2016; Not Signed; Fast Shipping from the UK. No. book. Seller Inventory # ria9781416540472_lsuk

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 15.62
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 5.09
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

9.

John Bingham; John Le Carre
Published by Simon & Schuster (2007)
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Softcover Quantity Available: 1
Print on Demand
Seller:
Rating
[?]

Book Description Simon & Schuster, 2007. Condition: New. This item is printed on demand for shipment within 3 working days. Seller Inventory # GM9781416540472

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 19.35
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.21
From Germany to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

10.

John Bingham
Published by SIMON SCHUSTER, United States (2007)
ISBN 10: 1416540474 ISBN 13: 9781416540472
New Paperback Quantity Available: 10
Seller:
Book Depository hard to find
(London, United Kingdom)
Rating
[?]

Book Description SIMON SCHUSTER, United States, 2007. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY JOHN LE CARRE This novel comprises some of the best work of an extremely gifted and perhaps under-regarded British crime novelist.What gave John Bingham his magic was something we look for in every writer, too often in vain: an absolute command of the internal landscape of his characters, acutely observed by a humane but wonderfully corrosive eye. Michael Sibley and John Prosset shared a history that dated back to their first years at boarding school, and so the news of Prosset s murder came as a great shock to his old friend -- especially because Sibley had been staying only the day before at Prosset s country house, where the body was found. When the police arrive to question him in connection with the murder, Sibley finds himself lying about his recent visit, and thus begins to reveal the true nature of a longstanding but volatile friendship, fraught with mutual deception and distrust. As he tells his version of the truth to the police -- and to the reader -- Sibley makes the first of many fateful mistakes and finds himself not only under suspicion, but a primary suspect in the investigation. Seen through the eyes of Sibley himself, My Name Is Michael Sibley is a mesmerizing account of murder, as the narrator purposefully attempts to elude the police and prove his innocence to the reader in the same breath. Seller Inventory # LIE9781416540472

More information about this seller | Contact this seller

Buy New
US$ 22.66
Convert currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
From United Kingdom to U.S.A.
Destination, rates & speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book