Charlie, a wealthy banker with an uneasy conscience, invites his troubled cousin Matthew to visit him and his wife in their idyllic mountain-top house over the summer. As the days grow hotter, the friendship between the three begins to reveal its fault lines.
When a fourth person arrives, the household finds itself suddenly in the grip of uncontrollable passions. Who is the real victim? Who is the perpetrator? And who, ultimately, is the fall guy?
Engaging, effortlessly readable… Lasdun’s writing style is clean and straightforward. All the complexity resides in character and detail. This is masterfully controlled 2am noir.
What a sinister and searching novel this is – and what a delight. James Lasdun is one of our great writers.
Exceptionally entertaining…The Fall Guy reads like early Ian McEwan or late Patricia Highsmith… Lasdun is masterly in his story’s construction… This is exactly what a literary thriller should be: intelligent, careful, swift, unsettling.
Nothing is straightforward in this slick, Highsmithian thriller, and while the damaged Matthew’s capacity for self-deception is flagged early, Lasdun’s skill lies not least in letting us think that we might therefore have his number. Wrong – and yet the novel’s denouement feels fated even as it smoothly steals the breath.
Impossible to put down.