The novel Acts of the Assassins is now out in the USA, but it’s in disguise as The Apostle Killer. I’m not quite sure why the wonderful Melville House felt the title had to change, but they’re the experts in the US market, and unlike 52% of my compatriots I haven’t yet lost faith in experts. I think the word ‘Killer’ might have been persuasive – whatever else Acts might be, it’s a killer thriller, a thriller about killers, and I can imagine the subset of readers who like that kind of thing is quite large.
Lo and behold, The Wall Street Journal then picked out the title for special mention in their review: ‘This is a smart, sly unpredictable novel, with uncertainty at its heart. Even Mr Beard’s title is ambiguous. Does it mean “killer of apostles” or “apostle who is a killer”?’
Which I’d like to say was precisely my thinking when I chose it, except I didn’t choose it. Still, I’ll always welcome a bit more ambiguity. Never knowingly unambiguous, that’s my motto. And now it’s in the title, too.