It brings together an intriguing cast of characters, each apparently in his or her own world but - as gradually becomes clear - ultimately intricately related. The anti-hero, John Veals, is a shadily successful and boundlessly ambitious Dickensian figure who is trading billions, and other characters include a teenage Muslim fanatic, a Polish footballer, a female tube driver, a literary critic, a care worker, and a chutney tycoon.
As the story builds to its climax, Faulks pulls together powerful ideas about family, money, religion, and the way we live now.
"His book could not be more topical or bang up to date. Greed, corruption and hubris are the defining traits of our age and Faulks holds a mirror up to our drug-addled, money-obsessed society. The novel is full of Russian babes, venal politicians and bank fraudsters. What more could any reader want? Eat your heart out Charles Dickens."(The Tatler)
"... Faulks knows the book world and satirises it with brio... A compelling tale of contemporary London."(The Observer)
"... Among Sophie�s guests is a creation of genuine force: John Veals, the hedge fund manager... a kind of Moriarty figure, a Napoleon of (banking) crime far more effectively wicked than Faulks�s Bond baddie."(The Times)
"A portrayal of modern London that is both richly entertaining and highly rewarding. Faulks has come as close as anyone to completing the jigsaw that is this crazy, fascinating city of ours."(The Evening Standard)
"Sebastian Faulks�s ambitious new novel could hardly be more timely, since it takes as one of its principal narrative threads the imminent collapse of a bank that will have to be bailed out by the government... It is to Faulks�s credit that he both wrong-foots us and keeps up the narrative tension until the very end..."(The Sunday Times)