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The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous Deception

Carrère, Emmanuel

ISBN 10: 0805065830 / ISBN 13: 9780805065831
Published by Metropolitan Books, 2001
Used Condition: Fine Soft cover
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0805065830 Advance Review Copy in wrappers. Bookseller Inventory # 007872

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Adversary: A True Story of Monstrous ...

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

Publication Date: 2001

Binding: Soft Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Issued without a dust Jacket

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

The shocking true story of a respectable doctor, eighteen years of lies, five murders, and the extremes to which ordinary people can go.

"On the Saturday morning of January 9, 1993, while Jean-Claude Romand was killing his wife and children, I was with mine in a parent-teacher meeting." So Emmanuel Carrère, acclaimed master of psychological suspense, begins this riveting tale of unfathomable deception. Who could have imagined Romand as a murderer? He was, after all, a noted physician at the World Health Organization, a groundbreaking researcher with connections to international humanitarians, a financial wizard entrusted with his in-laws' savings, a loving son who called his parents every evening. If there was a problem, no one knew it. As it turned out, there were many: Romand had no medical degree; he had no job; he knew no one famous; he had spent his in-laws' money. And when a relative went to break the terrible news about Romand's wife and children to his parents, they too were dead -- murdered by the stranger who had been their son.

A mesmerizing account of the hundreds of daily lies that propelled one man's life, The Adversary -- another name for the Devil in the Bible -- is also a meditation on the mystery of identity, evil, and the desperate logic by which it is easier to kill than to confess.

Review:

Too mortified to admit that he has missed a crucial medical school exam, Jean-Claude Romand decides instead to lie. It's the pitiful act of a desperate man that turns into a full-time charade, and as the lies pile up Romand manages to convince everyone--his wife, best friend, parents, in-laws, and mistress--that he is a doctor with the World Health Organization. When it all starts to unravel some 18 years later, Romand tries to cover up his deception by killing his family and making a feeble attempt at killing himself. The Adversary is a haunting, incredible story, superbly told by Emmanuel Carrère, a fellow Frenchman who goes beyond the obvious speculation to pursue Romand's psychological inner workings. Is it torment and guilt that haunts Romand as he spends his days reading newspapers and taking notes in remote cafés, holing up in airport hotels to feign business trips, and living off of his relatives' money on the pretence that he is investing it for them? Or is there a deeper evil that makes it possible for him to live in this web of deception, forever on the edge of discovery? Carrère, who developed a relationship with Romand before and after the high-profile 1990s trial, inserts his own thoughts as he retraces Romand's path. The writing, flush with biblical and philosophical references, is graceful and thought-provoking. You'll catch yourself reading passages over and over. It's a thinking person's In Cold Blood, only more chilling because the killer comes from within. --Jodi Mailander Farrell

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