German scriptwriter Arango’s exceptional first novel, a highly entertaining thriller, focuses on Henry Hayden, a successful author who lives in a “nondescript coastal town.” Wealthy beyond imagination, he appears to be a loving husband to his wife, Martha, and is so humble that people automatically like him.
In truth, the vain and selfish Henry is seeing a mistress, Betty Hansen, who’s also his editor, and a few other women besides. As for those bestsellers, Henry never wrote one word—Martha did, allowing him to take credit as long as her authorial role remained a secret.
Henry’s carefully constructed world is in danger when Betty becomes pregnant. His decision to take drastic action results in an accidental death. Dodging the police inquiry and an old acquaintance determined to expose his erratic past, Henry takes charge of his own fate. Wry humor punctuates this insightful look at a soulless man.
Sascha Arango is one of Germany’s most prominent screenplay writers and a two-time winner of the Grimme Prize, a prestigious award for German television, for his work on the long-running detective series Tatort. His first novel, The Truth and Other Lies, will be published in more than thirteen countries in 2015. He lives in Germany.