Flynn Berry

A Double Life

"..Berry does a fine job of exploring the seedy underbelly of the privileged aristocracy."


Claire's father is a privileged man: handsome, brilliant, the product of an aristocratic lineage and an expensive education. He leads a charmed life, surrounded by a group of devoted friends who would do anything for him.

But when he becomes the prime suspect in a horrific crime, a scandal erupts. Someone has murdered Claire's nanny and brutally attacked her mother. The next morning, Claire's father disappears. His car is found abandoned near the English Channel, with bloodstains on the front seat.

Claire's mother insists she saw him in the house that night, but his powerful, privileged friends maintain his innocence.

Thirty years later, Claire is obsessed with uncovering the truth. She knows the answers lie with the same friends who all those years before had answered the call to protect one of their own.

Because they know where Claire's father is. They helped him escape, and Claire's going to do whatever it takes to bring them all to justice.

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Flynn Berry's latest novel is described as being 'loosely inspired' by one of the most notorious unsolved crimes of the 20th century – the Lord Lucan case'. It's a great mystery on which to hook a crime novel. As most people know, Lord Lucan was famously accused of murdering his children's nanny and brutally attacking his wife before disappearing without trace. Berry uses this premise to build an absolutely cracking thriller. The story is narrated by Claire Aldin, a GP living and working in London. Unknown to her colleagues and friends, Claire is hiding a secret. Thirty years ago, following a horrific attack on her mother, Claire's father disappears. Following the attack, Claire, her mother and her younger brother rebuild their lives. The story alternates between the present day, and Claire's increasingly desperate attempts to discover the truth, and the events leading up to the murder. Berry interweaves these two separate strands with great skill. The more you read, the angrier you become at the way Claire and her family were treated by her father and his friends. Eventually, Claire has enough information to go on. She thinks she knows where her father's been hiding out all these years. Now, all she has to do is track him down and confront him. But what if she's right? What if her father really is a killer? Will he be happy to see her, or will he want to finish what he started almost thirty years earlier? I read – and adored – Berry's first novel, 'Under the Harrow'. I loved 'A Double Life' every bit as much. Claire Aldin is a clever, complex character and Berry does a fine job of exploring the seedy underbelly of the privileged aristocracy.

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