London, 2010: Icelandic volcanoes have the city in gridlock, banks topple like dominoes and Brandon Kussgarten has been shot dead by gunmen in Donald Duck masks. His death draws his twin brother — shy, bookish Adam — into Brandon’s underworld of deceit and desire.
A miniature kingdom sprouts in a Notting Hill tower-block, LA mansions burn in week-long parties, and in a Baroque hotel suite a record is being made that could redeem its maker even as it destroys him. As Adam begins to fall for his brother’s shattered family he finds that to win them for himself he’ll have to lose everything that he holds dear.
This intelligent, intriguing and emotionally-searing tale of fractured identities, narcissism and ambition questions how being loved for what others think we are differs from who we are to ourselves.
With echoes of Performance, The Talented Mr Ripley and Mulholland Drive, The Ruins delves into the dark heart of fame: magic, music and murder.
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"The Ruins reads like Raymond Chandler remixed by James Lasdun: barbed aperçus and killer images flare across each page, even as unsettling elements moil below, in pursuit of more sinister ambitions. Every great noir tale is at some level a fantasia on the slipperiness of identity; Osman has written a great noir tale."
"An intriguing and beautifully-written tale of two brothers, filled with music and danger. But at its heart this is a novel about being restless and lonely; about how the inability to create something transient leads to a silent despair and the desire to be someone else."
"Oozes quiet sedition."