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Dirty Tricks (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)by Michael Dibdin
Synopses & Reviews
A comedy of manners, a mystery thriller, and a sardonic satire whose deliciously unscrupulous narrator claims that everything he did regarding his victims was "market-led," Dirty Tricks is pure entertainment from one of the most inventive writers around.
When our nameless narrator returns to Oxford after twenty years abroad, everyone seems to be richer, louder, and more successful than he is, and the old class system doesn't quite work the way it used to. So he embarks upon an affair with Karen, a vapid but lusty P.E. teacher married to a well-heeled and boring accountant, and soon learns that she prefers to commit adultery while her husband is in the vicinity. This risky triangle soon becomes a rectangle when he meets Alison, a more cultivated woman he thinks is much more his type. Before long, our protagonist is involved in a ruthless scheme to navigate the changing social waters, and also in two deaths that look a lot like murder.
"[A] deliciously mean-spirited satirical tale of murder and betrayal." Publishers Weekly
"Superb....It?s just like James M. Cain, only funny. Come to think of it, maybe it?s more just like Nabokov. Only fun." The New York Times
"[A] superior piece of noir...brisk, absorbing and...satisfying." The Sunday Times
"Nasty, original, murderously funny entertainment." The Independent
A comedy of manners, a mystery thriller, and a sardonic satire whose deliciously unscrupulous narrator claims that everything he did regarding his victims was “market-led,” Dirty Tricks is pure entertainment from one of the most inventive writers around.
When the nameless narrator embarks upon an affair with Karen, a seemingly vapid P.E. teacher married to a boring accountant, he does not know her fetish is for adultery while her husband is in the room or loitering nearby. But once he finds out, he doesnt care. He has been abroad for twenty years, and since his return to merry old England hes been startlingly uninhibited by morals or a conscience. Which is not only why he eventually gets involved with blackmail, a kidnapping, and two murders, but also how, with hilariously syllogistic logic, hes able to justify his role in all of it.
About the Author
Michael Dibdin was born in England and moved extensively around the British Isles until his parents reluctantly agreed to his ultimatum, aged seven, that he for one intended to stay put in Northern Ireland, where they were then living. He later spent five years in Canada, working as a painting contractor, and another five in Perugia, Italy, where he taught English at the local university. In 1995 he officially achieved the status which has defined his entire life, that of Resident Alien, and now lives with his wife, the writer Kathrine Beck, and a varying selection of their five children in two turn-of-the-century houses in Seattle, Washington. Dibdin has written thirteen novels, eight of them in the popular Aurelio Zen series, including Ratking, which won the Crime Writers’ Association Gold Dagger, and Cabal, which was awarded the French Grand Prix du Roman Policier. His work has been translated into eighteen languages.
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