A True Story of Monstrous Deception
Metropolitan Books, Hardcover, 9780805065831, 208pp.
Publication Date: January 1, 2001
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.
"A thriller suffused with ominous tension." --The New Yorker, on Class Trip
"Fine and glossy and inexorable...stunning." --John Updike, The New Yorker, on The Mustache
"Emmanuel Carrère is a master of high-standard deviation." --Spin