The Woman on the Stairs is a novel about a fictitious painting called Woman on Staircase. She is also the wife of Peter Gundlach, a wealthy businessman who commissioned Schwind to paint her. The lawyer reveals why Schwind needs his services: little by little, Gundlach is vandalizing his painting, defacing the woman who spurned him and angering an independent and powerless artist. Schlink restores order in his next section where, back in the present, his lawyer tracks Irene down at her secluded beachside cottage.
- German-born Bernhard Schlink, a professor of law at Berlin’s Humboldt University, writes fiction which incorporates aspects of his legal background and elements of his country’s 20th-century history.
- Unlike John Grisham, his books are not legal thrillers, more mysteries which have a close brush with the law and which rigorously and intelligently examine its attendant dark matter – moral conundrums, crises of conscience, blame, betrayal and culpability.
- Schlink’s latest book sees him sticking to this winning formula and playing to his strengths.
“Schlink’s latest book sees him sticking to this winning formula and playing to his strengths. The Woman on the Stairs is a novel about a fictitious painting called Woman on Staircase.”