From Chloe Hooper, author of the phenomenal The Tall Man, comes a brilliant novel about sex and money. The Engagementis a taut psychological thriller in which the deft blurring of reality and dark fantasy rivals that of Luis Bunuel's classic Belle de Jour.
Liese Campbell has an engagement for the weekend: to stay with Alexander Colquhoun, the well-mannered heir of a pastoral dynasty, at his property in western Victoria. Liese, an English architect in flight from the financial crisis, now works at her uncle's real-estate business in Melbourne. Alexander has been looking for a place in the city. The luxury apartments Liese shows him have become sets for a relationship that satisfies their fantasies - and helps pay her debts. It's a game. Both players understand the rules. Or so she thinks.
Across the ancient landscape they drive at dusk to his grand decaying mansion. Here Liese senses a change in Alexander, and realises a different game has begun.
This gripping, provocative new novel by one of Australia's finest writers is a psychological thriller for the modern age, one which explores the snares of money and love, and the dark side of erotic imagination. A trap has been set, but how and why? And for whom?
'A tasty gothic tale, with echoes of Bluebeard and psycho, about wealth, power and erotic fantasy.' David Grylls, The Sunday Times
' . . . a compelling, at times disturbing, but always humorous and readable cautionary tale.' Brian McCabe, The Herald
'A dark tale of sex and obsession . . . ' Newcastle Journal
'This is a novel about the power of mind-games; fantasies bent 'out of shape' and imaginings 'gone bad'. The Engagementis no Fifty Shades of Grey; its kicks, and kicks in the teeth, are much more subtle.' Lucy Scholes, Independent
'Hooper has produced a sleek and sly two-hander, a thriller almost, which sets everything out clearly for the reader and yet remains filled with uncertainty.' John Self, Guardian
Praise for The Tall Man
'A masterful moral thriller about power, wretchedness and violence' Philip Roth
'The country's finest work of literature so far this century' Robert Drewe
'Life springs from every page of this enthralling book' Helen Garner
'It is impossible to overstate the importance of this book' Peter Carey