In Liam Durcan's searing debut novel Garcia's Heart, neurologist Patrick Lazerenko travels to The Hague to witness the war crimes trial of his mentor, Hernan García, a Honduran doctor accused of involvement in torture. Discovered in Montreal years later, García has been extradited to the famous criminal court, supported only by his family and an advocacy group whose motives seem questionable at best.
At the trial, Patrick encounters the ambitious journalist who has built her career on the case. She is convinced that Patrick knows more than he is admitting and won’t stop until she finds out what it is. The defense attorney has his own ideas for Patrick as well, hoping to persuade him to use his latest neurological research to vindicate García. The only one who has asked nothing of Patrick is García himself. After entering a plea of not guilty, García has refused to say a word to anyone.
As García’s supposed crimes are revealed, Patrick wrestles with what truth there may be behind the accusations, haunted as he is by his own youthful memories of the man and his family. He must also contend with seeing García’s daughter, Celia, his former lover. Their relationship ended years before, but he is consumed by his memories of his love for her.
But it isn’t until García’s shocking intentions come to light that Patrick begins to realize that however sophisticated his knowledge of the brain may be, it will take more for him to understand the human heart.
Praise for García’s Heart
“Liam Durcan raises complex and important issues in García’s Heart, exposing the frailty of human nature against the background of medical science.... An intelligent book, thought provoking and satisfying---a meditation on the workings of the mind.”
---Clare Morrall, author of Astonishing Splashes of Colour
“Eloquent and haunting, García’s Heart fearlessly explores the moral ambiguities of the modern world. Durcan demonstrates his supreme versatility with his psychologically penetrating, technically assured, yet empathic and human portrait of a man struggling to come to terms with a terrible angel.”
---Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach
“With this remarkable debut novel, Liam Durcan...has firmly ensconced himself within the hallowed ranks of doctors making successful forays into literature, a line running straight from Chekhov through William Carlos Williams and W. Somerset Maugham.”
---Quill & Quire
“Durcan’s language is sculpted with seemingly effortless precision. His sentences are rich with detail and metaphor, luxurious with reference and allusion, but also lean and raw, getting straight to the point of what he wants to describe.”
---Literary Review of Canada