One part Nietzsche, one part Humbert Humbert, and a soupcon of Miltonâ€™s Lucifer, Axel Vander, the dizzyingly unreliable narrator of John Banvilleâ€™s masterful new novel, is very old, recently widowed, and the bearer of a fearsome reputation as a literary dandy and bully. A product of the Old World, he is also an escapee from its conflagrations, with the wounds to prove it. And everything about him is a lie. Now those lies have been unraveled by a mysterious young woman whom Vander calls â€śMiss Nemesis.â€ť They are to meet in Turin, a city best known for its enigmatic shroud. Is her purpose to destroy Vander or to save himâ€”or simply to show him what lies beneath the shroud in which he has wrapped his life? A splendidly moving exploration of identity, duplicity, and desire, Shroud is Banvilleâ€™s most rapturous performance to date.