Fake by Roz Kay

I was drawn to this book by the cover, which I’m sure you’ll agree is wonderfully eccentric and eye-catching. Also, the title intrigued me as I enjoy reading books that explore the issues of duplicity and deceit.


James Cowper-art dealer, gambler, thief-is going straight and on the brink of redeeming himself with his disillusioned wife, Imani. He’s still broke, but all he needs to take care of that is a rare art find. Then trouble arrives in the shape of a scheming landlord and an unwelcome dinner party with his boss. As events spin out of his control it appears that nobody, including Imani, is what they pretend. And over everything looms one make-or-break question for James: can he get a grip on his exploding life?

My thoughts:

From the blurb, I had certain expectations of this book and I discovered that some of what I found within the pages was quite unexpected.

Firstly, I did not expect to like James Cowper?! The author really manages to really get inside the head of a down-on-his-luck, partially useless, but hopeful and determined man, and some of what she finds there is quite wonderful. I found James to be a loveable rouge character, and found myself saying: “Aww bless him, at least he’s trying!”

I found myself laughing out loud at some of James’ observations, especially when he describes himself imagining his marriage counsellor’s reactions to his failed attempts at trying to re-connect with his wife. His descriptions are vivid, honest and comical. There is also a dry humour and sarcasm laced within the book, sometimes in the narrative, but regularly in the dialogue.

The narrative provides a close look at marital relationships, and is mostly a realistic view. This is definitely not a romance novel! The majority of the action of the story takes place over one evening, when James, much to his wife’s disappointment, has invited his boss and his partner to dinner, and has “forgotten” to tell her about the arrangement. It is clear that the marriage has suffered a number of blows, but the main one is their inability to communicate effectively!

There is already tension when the evening begins, due to Imani’s bad feeling, but the tension begins to grow, and the narrative gathers pace, as the dinner party descends into chaos and leads us towards an explosive and unexpected ending!

I was interested to read that this story had begun life as a play, as whilst reading, I did think that the way the story focuses so much on dialogue and is set in one room, was reminiscent of J B Priestley’s An Inspector Calls and Don’t Look Back In Anger by John Boyne.

This has been an interesting and original book that I would recommend to fans of the domestic drama genre, especially those who enjoy dialogue driven narrative and a cast of quirky and imperfect characters!



2 thoughts on “Fake by Roz Kay

  1. I love the sound of this book thanks for sharing your review! I will be adding it to my wishlist for this year’s reading.

    Liked by 1 person

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