Book Reviews - Sallie Eden Book Reviews 2011

Other People’s Money by Justin Cartwright

Sir Harry Trevelyan-Tubal is dying in his opulent Mediterranean villa, attended by his devoted secretary, while his much younger wife is cavorting with a South African personal trainer in London.

Meanwhile, his son Julian, the Chairman of the bank set up by the family in 1671, is preparing to sell it off. A blog, set up by a young Cornish reporter, sets off a chain of events with far reaching consequences for all of them, spiralling upwards to the highest reaches of Government.

Described by the publisher as both a subtle thriller and an acutely delineated portrait of a world and a class, it is in the genre of Sebastian Faulks’ “A week in December” but is much more fun.

I loved this story to the extent I wanted to stop doing nice things to open it up again and get on with it. Although the main characters were the banking family, whose excesses were at the same time unappealing and mouth watering, some of them, such as Julian, were sympathetically portrayed. They and the supporting cast were caught up in a maelstrom of events, sometimes farcical, beyond their control. The Cornish interest – the local newspaper and a playwright with high ambitions – is easily recognisable.

Verdict: A great book by a Booker Prize nominee. *****

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