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Soon our hero, who himself has a lot to hide, finds himself threatened by a dodgy type whose loss he has adjusted way down and embroiled with the beautiful married actress Flavia Malinverno. "People who've lost something, they call on you to adjust it, make the loss less hard to bear? As if their lives are broken in some way and they call on you to fix it," Flavia dippily wonders. Lorimer also has his car torched and instantly goes from an object of affection to one of deep suspicion at the Fort. Then there is another case, the small matter of the rock star who may or may not be faking the Devil he says is sitting on his left shoulder.
Needless to say, Lorimer is "becoming fed up with this role of fall guy for other people's woes." Boyd adds a deep layer of psychological heft and a lighter level of humor to this thinking-person's thriller by exploring Lorimer's manifold personal and social fears. This is a man who desperately collects ancient helmets even though he knows they offer only "the illusion of protection." Another of Armadillo's many pleasures: its dose of delicious argot. Should Lorimer "oil" the apparent perpetrator of the Fedora Palace arson before he's oiled himself? Or perhaps he just needs to "put the frighteners" on him. Boyd definitely puts the frighteners on his readers more than once in this cinematically seedy and dazzling literary display. --Kerry Fried
Quite a strange story, which took a while to get into.nhowever ,it was very well written.Published 7 months ago by Patrick Reynolds
Great read. Boyd's character development second to none. Wonder if he'll ever introduce a twist to an ending?Published 15 months ago by John Offenbach
I like this book for it exceptionally beautiful writing. One should have a very sharp imagination to make an exciting story of the life of an insurance agent. Read morePublished 19 months ago by nina voronel
The plot is dishevelled and waffly. The narrator is a bit dull and it is difficult to care what befalls him . The villians were better written . Read morePublished on June 29, 2013 by David McWilliam
Not the best of Boyd, but very readable just the same. A convincing story with unexpected turnings. One for the archives.Published on November 23, 2012 by Topender
William Boyd's 1998 detective-genre novel centers on a complicated insurance fraud scheme set in London and the efforts of Lorimer Black, an up-and-coming insurance loss adjuster,... Read morePublished on January 30, 2012 by David R. Anderson
Never thought I'd be interested in insurance, but my wife likes Boyd and urged this on me. He has a knack for getting you intrigued by what intrigues him-- such as the obsession... Read morePublished on June 12, 2010 by John L Murphy