A brilliantly tense debut novel that explores all the moral ambiguities of our money-dominated world.
All our parents have secrets.
But Hanna Mehdi's father is unusual. He ran a major bank that collapsed in suspicious circumstances. When it fell, he turned up at her door and told her they had to run away. They fled to a luxury hotel in Beirut which has now become home. They have a yacht. She wears the latest designer clothes.
One day she discovers that her father may have done far worse than make risky bets on the money markets. She finds a photograph that turns her comfortable life upside down. She has to ask: Has my father been lying to me all this time? Are we in danger? Is my father a murderer?
As Hanna follows the trail of blood from Beirut to Lahore to London, her eyes are opened to the real world in which she has been living, a world in which men do whatever they want, women hold their peace and money buys the ability to avoid all responsibility. Suddenly she is forced to grapple with the costs of her freedom. What will she choose: the dull and guilty ease of being the banker's daughter? Or the rough comfort of facing up to the truth?
Emran Mian's brilliantly tense, atmospheric debut takes us deep into the psychology of those whose lives depend on the unscrupulous rich, and makes us think about our own complicity in creating monsters.
“A deliciously worldly tale of fear, betrayal and moral compromise”
“A stylish...blend of literary fiction and thriller”
Catherine Taylor, Guardian
“Bold and eloquent…comments intelligently on our complicity in financial foul play”
David Evans, Financial Times
“Mian has inveigled his way into the head of his female protagonist with uncanny sensitivity... A taut thriller... Absolutely convincing”
“An effective, atmospheric thriller”
Anthony Cummins, Metro
“A carefully controlled and intelligent thriller, this is also a convincing exploration of the paralysing effects of life in a gilded vacuum”
Stephanie Cross, Daily Mail
“A terrific read, a page turner with complex and credible characters”
Charlotte Runcie, The List
“This female-centric thriller gets to grips with financial and familial intrigue: a stylish debut”
Emma Hagestadt, Independent
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