Deceptions, By Rebecca Frayn

Bribed with a terrific plot that just won't let go
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Rebecca Frayn's tale about Dan, who goes missing as a 12-year-old but then turns up three years later, reminds me of Janice Galloway's observation that plot is a bribe to keep the reader reading.

As Annie, Dan's mother, unravels, we watch on from the point of view of Julian, her oddly austere partner. Julian works in the art business, much concerned with forgeries and copies, so when the older Dan turns up, he is attuned to tell-tale differences between the younger and older versions. And so a story which asked "Where is Dan?" moves on to ask "Is this him?". Shameless bribery all the way, but it works. I couldn't put it down.

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