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  • Published: 6 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9781473547858
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

The Adversary

A True Story of Monstrous Deception

A true story of monstrous deception, from France's greatest living writer - 'The story told here is beyond the imagination of even the best crime writer' Sunday Times


On the Saturday morning of January 9, 1993, while Jean Claude Romand was killing his wife and children, I was with mine in a parent-teacher meeting.

With these chilling first words, acclaimed master of psychological suspense, Emmanuel Carrère, begins his exploration of the double life of a respectable doctor, eighteen years of lies, five murders, and the extremes to which ordinary people can go.

Discover the true story that is 'beyond the imagination of even the best crime writer' (Sunday Times)

'A disturbing look at the dark side of human nature that is powerfully written and beautifully told' Louis Theroux

'Mesmerising' Sunday Telegraph

'Stunning' Evening Standard

'Unputdownable' Washington Post

'A masterpiece' New York Times

  • Published: 6 July 2017
  • ISBN: 9781473547858
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 208

About the author

Emmanuel Carrère

Emmanuel Carrère, novelist, filmmaker, journalist, and biographer, is the award-winning internationally renowned author of The Adversary (a Sunday Times bestseller and New York Times Notable Book, translated into twenty-three languages), Lives Other Than My Own, My Life as a Russian Novel, Class Trip, Limonov (winner of the 2011 Prix Renaudot), The Mustache and, most recently, The Kingdom.

Also by Emmanuel Carrère

See all

Praise for The Adversary

A disturbing look at the dark side of human nature that is powerfully written and beautifully told

Louis Theroux

The story told here is truly beyond the imagination for even the best crime writer

Sunday Times

The mesmerizing true crime tale of an apparently ordinary man whose life mutates in the space of a few blood-splattering hours from the realm of Renoir to that of Stephen King


He’s the best kind of writer, not just a bestseller but a man who is not afraid to leave the comfort zone of his desk, go out into the world, take risks, and get his shoes dirty


Unputdownable... Imagine a sleek, twenty-first century version of In Cold Blood

Washington Post

A triumph of insight and concision, brilliant both as a psychological study and as the portrayal of a community

Blake Morrison, Independent on Sunday

A masterpiece... It's a level of moral discomfort almost without equal in literature

New York Times

Savagely intense and utterly compelling... This is his paciest and cleanest-cut book...few books could better deserve a second chance to find new readers

Sunday Times

The Adversary is exactly the idea I have of a modern novel: struggling deftly with facts and with itself

Laurent Binet, author of HHhH

An absolutely stunning piece of work, totally involving and unforgettable

Evening Standard

This is the sort of story I dreamed of covering when I was a journalist. The sort of story for which the phrase You couldn’t make it up was invented. The Adversary takes a deep, mesmerising dive into the darkness of a human soul. There were moments when I truly could not believe what I was reading. But unlike other serial killer noirs sitting on my shelves, this horror is real. And so much more chilling for that.

Fiona Barton, author of The Widow

[A] book that fairly struck me over the head was The Adversary… it’s the coexistence of almost unimaginably variant realities within a family that haunts you.

Megan Nolan, New Statesman, *Books of the Year*

A remarkably thoughtful and unnerving book...mesmerising

Sunday Telegraph

Profoundly disturbing...a remarkable and undoubtedly important book - perhaps even a necessary one

Daily Express

A fascinating meditation on Jean-Claude Romand and what his bizarre life might mean... Carrère's inquiry is highly personal, written in lucid prose...the narrative is often mesmerizing, and revealing about the fragility of human relationships

New York Times

As a writer, Carrère is straight berserk; as a storyteller he is so freakishly talented, so unassuming in grace and power that you only realize the hold he's got on you when you attempt to pull away... You say: True crime and Literature? I don't believe it. I say: Believe it

Junot Díaz

Justifiably considered the French In Cold Blood

Paris Review

The sense of dread he conveys is authentic – it is a loss of self, of connection to the world...dystopian

London Review of Books

It’s fascinating, watching Carrere dig around in Romand’s inner life… By the end you feel this clever, intriguing book is too good for its banal human subject.

Robbie Millen, The Times

Dark, strange, astonishing.

Marcel Theroux, Big Issue

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