This book has the vilest characters of any book I’ve read in memory. Only two had any reedeming characteristics. And you couldn’t like them as they were friends with the others. This is a deliberate tact by the author.
The book is about four wealthy families at the beginning of the recession who live in very large houses by each other. Despite being friends and a clique of us eight as they like to be known. They are rivals to show off how wealthy and successful they are despite the fact that Armageddon for their lifestyle is coming for them all. They are a myth of rich Britain pre-recession and maybe for some post.
The book starts with the delivery man from the highly coveted coffee delivery firm cappuccino arriving to find one family and their dogs murdered. But which family? We have to wait till the end of the book to find out. Which family. Who did it and why. It could be any of them and indeed the book ends with another twist.
This book is a book of our times. It’s about the greed of the middle classes. Their need to out do each other. Appearances that are not as they seem. Britain still in a class society which is seen with one of the wives giving financial advice to poor families. She dresses down for this. Takes the cheap car the VW beetle with her. As a former beetle owner who would still like to be one that got my hackles raised. But reading on was more disturbing. She pitied those on benefits. She thought they should go without. There was little empathy and no thought that she was actually poorer than them living with a mountain of credit.
This is not an easy read. It’s not a likeable read. But it is thought provoking. And makes you think of the values you live and want to live your life by. And that life being the first person to get the limited order of cappuccingo is not one for you. Nor is a life of screens and mirrors.