By Sophia Whitfield
There has been much excitement surround the publication of Nicholas Searle’s gripping debut novel. It has been a highly anticipated book, and one from the graduating class of Curtis Brown. Searle has been compared to John Le Carre, not least because of his background. He was a civil servant who worked in security before retiring in 2011.
The novel is part historical fiction, part mystery. Roy Courtnay, an 80- year-old conman has set his sights on an intelligent but vulnerable woman who he hopes to be the victim of his final swindle.
He meets Betty through an Internet dating site and moves in with her in a leafy English village. She is a widow who has been a successful academic and has saved a nest egg for her family to inherit.
Roy, set on tricking Betty out of her life savings, employs the help of his friend Vincent to assist in his final con. Betty plays into his hands allowing Roy to become an integral part of her life.
The story oscillates between present day and the past taking us through Roy’s dark past, from the streets of London to Berlin. The past informs the present, which is why it is best, left unsaid.
A compelling read from a new voice in fiction. Buy the book here.
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