The Adversary

The Adversary

Book - 2000
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The shocking true story of a respectable doctor, eighteen years of lies, five murders, and the extremes to which ordinary people can go.

"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." So Emmanuel Carrère, acclaimed master of psychological suspense, begins this riveting tale of unfathomable deception. Who could have imagined Romand as a murderer? He was, after all, a noted physician at the World Health Organization, a groundbreaking researcher with connections to international humanitarians, a financial wizard entrusted with his in-laws' savings, a loving son who called his parents every evening. If there was a problem, no one knew it. As it turned out, there were many: Romand had no medical degree; he had no job; he knew no one famous; he had spent his in-laws' money. And when a relative went to break the terrible news about Romand's wife and children to his parents, they too were dead -- murdered by the stranger who had been their son.

A mesmerizing account of the hundreds of daily lies that propelled one man's life, The Adversary -- another name for the Devil in the Bible -- is also a meditation on the mystery of identity, evil, and the desperate logic by which it is easier to kill than to confess.
Publisher: New York : Metropolitan Books, c2000.
ISBN: 9780805065831
Branch Call Number: 364.15/CARR
Characteristics: 191p. 22cm.


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Sep 07, 2020

"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."
Fascinating and horrifying (and true) story of a Frenchman who lived a double life, convincing everyone he was doctor, and ended up cheating on his wife, and killing his whole family and nearly killing himself. He survived to go on trial and be interviewed. There's not much insight into his psychology or his motives, but can anyone really understand this kind of behavior. Novelist Emmanuel Carrere does he best, but a theme of the book seems to be the un-knowability of horrific events.

Feb 16, 2017

This would have made an excellent magazine article... I don't read a lot of true crime; this one just didn't come together for me. The author was too much a character in the story, I felt. Also the way the chronology was used, all suspense was removed from this horrible event- meh...

Aug 28, 2015

This is the true story of a monster who killed his family rather than have his deceptions uncovered. He is a passive person, afraid of confrontation who achieves something of what he wants through the notoriety of his trial and having this book written about him. Unfortunately, psychologically, it is not that insightful.


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