• From the Publisher
May 1, 2015

Oliv­er Vice, forty-one, promi­nent philoso­pher, schol­ar, and art col­lec­tor, is miss­ing and pre­sumed dead, over the side of Queen Mary 2.Troubled by his friend’s pos­si­ble sui­cide, the unnamed nar­ra­tor of Lawrence Dou­glas’ new nov­el launch­es an all-con­sum­ing inves­ti­ga­tion into Vice’s life his­to­ry. Dou­glas, mov­ing back­ward through time, tells a mor­dant­ly humor­ous sto­ry of fas­ci­na­tion turned obses­sion, as his nar­ra­tor peels back the lay­ers of the Vice family’s rich and bizarre his­to­ry. At the heart of the fam­i­ly are Fran­ciz­ka, Oliver’s hand­some, over­bear­ing, vague­ly anti-Semit­ic Hun­gar­i­an moth­er, and his fra­ter­nal twin broth­er, Bartholomew, a gigan­tic and trou­bled young man with a mor­bid inter­est in Europe’s great tyrants. As the nar­ra­tor finds him­self drawn into a bat­tle over the family’s mon­ey and art, he comes to sense that some­one — or per­haps the entire fam­i­ly — is hid­ing an unsa­vory past. Pur­su­ing the truth from New York to Lon­don, from Budapest to Por­tu­gal, he remains obliv­i­ous to the irony of the search: that in his need to under­stand Vice’s life, he is real­ly grap­pling with ambiva­lence about his own.

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