The Ruins deals with madness and creativity, alongside big ideas about art, fame, family, identity and the insidious nature of popular culture in the age of the internet. But Osman weaves these themes through a compelling noir puzzle, packed with eccentric characters, memorable scenes and amusing insights into rock star life that would feel implausible if it weren’t for the credibility of the author. There are, nevertheless, gaping narrative holes. I’m not sure what happened to the investigation of Brandon’s homicide, and I am not convinced the author is either. But a dreamlike impetus sweeps the reader on, in a way reminiscent of the work of David Mitchell and China Miéville.