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'A taut, subtle, postmodern literary thriller.' SUNDAY TIMES
'A remarkable debut; an accomplished and intricately plotted story.'-JON McGREGOR
'A Lonely Man is a delicate snare of a novel.'-BRANDON TAYLOR
'A thrilling, unnerving novel. a page-turner with exacting syntax and emotional heft.'-CATHERINE LACEY
'Impressively deft. A Lonely Man is a tense and taut work.'-BENJAMIN MYERS
Robert is a struggling writer living in Berlin with his wife and two young daughters. One night he meets Patrick, an enigmatic stranger with a sensational story to tell: a ghostwriter for a Russian oligarch - recently found hanged - who is now being followed. But is he really in danger? Patrick's life strikes Robert as a fabrication, but one that comes to obsess him. He decides to use the other man, and his story.
An elegant and atmospheric twist on the cat-and-mouse narrative, A Lonely Man is a novel
of shadows, of the search for identity and the elastic nature of truth. As his association with Patrick hurtles towards tragedy, Robert must decide: are actual events the only things that give a story life, and are some stories too dangerous to tell?
In this beguiling literary thriller about the ethics of storytelling, Power (Mothers) examines the plundering tendencies of oligarchs and writers alike. Robert Prowe, an English novelist living in Berlin, strikes up a friendship with fellow writer Patrick Unsworth, who shares an outlandish tale: having been hired to ghostwrite the autobiography of dissident Russian oligarch Sergei Vanyashin and entrusted with compromising information about Putin's regime, he is now being tracked by Russian agents. Moreover, Vanyashin and various figures in his circle have died under suspicious circumstances. Robert can't decide if his new acquaintance is lying or "playing out some fantasy," but decides to use Patrick's story, without his permission, as the basis for a new novel. Robert's "twenty-four fucking carat" material comes with a cost, as ominous signs emerge that he and his family could be in danger. For a novel filled with so much trickery, there are some slack sections, for example, when Robert prepares his family's summer house in Sweden or returns to London for a funeral. Furthermore, the bond between the two men isn't quite magnetic enough for the reader to feel the sting of the eventual vampiric betrayal. By and large, though, Power maintains an elegant sense of intrigue around the lengths writers will go for a good story.