''Lost'' novel to solve show's mystery? -- ''The Third Policeman'' may offer answers to the ratings giant's secrets

Those obsessive Lost fans who read way too much into the ABC hit’s cryptic situations may find more clues in Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman (Dalkey Archive, $12.95), which was featured in the show’s hatch-centric Oct. 5 episode. The Irish writer’s 1967 novel follows a murderer involved in a series of time- and space-bending adventures. Dalkey’s Chad Post suspects there might be a connection between the underground bunker of Lost‘s Desmond (Henry Ian Cusick) and a Policeman passage in which cops take the murderer to a subterranean tunnel that just happens to be…Eternity. ”There’s a labyrinth of rooms that repeat over and over again,” Post says. ”And there’s one room where you can get whatever you want, but you can’t take it back up with you.” But get this (spoiler alert): At Policeman‘s end, the murderer learns he’s been dead the entire time. How does that relate to the everyone-is-dead theory Lost fans have repeatedly floated? Says Post: ”That’s the part I think is a red herring.” (Show reps were, as usual, mum.)