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The upper-crust, family-owned bank of Tubal & Co, in the City of London, is in trouble. It's t the first time in its three hundred and forty year history, but it may be the last. A secret sale is under way, and a number of facts need to be kept hidden from the regulators and major clients. Masterminded by the bank's chariman, Julian Trevelyan-Tubal, hundreds of millions of pounds are being diverted - temporarily - to shore the bank up until it can be sold. Julian's aging father, Sir Harry, incapacitated by a stroke at the family villa in Antibes, would be horrified. He is still writing barely intelligible letters to Julian, which advise him to stick to the time-houred traditions of the bank. Had his son taken his advice, the bank might still be solvent. Inevitably great families have secrets; lovers, old partners, or retainers who resent t being part of the family, all have a habit of turning awkward. When an alimony payment from the bank - disguised as a charitable donation - to an abandoned husband, the penniless-but-heroic actor-manager Artair MacCleod, fails to arrive, the initial trickle of doubt swell into a torrent of catastrophe for the family. Other People's Money is a gripping and often hilarious story, an acutely delineated portrait of a world and a class. Justin Cartwright manipulates our sympathies effortlessly, unwinding the story with gentle satire and acute, beautifully phrased insights into the eccentricities and weaknesses of the human condition.
Justin Cartwright's novels include the Booker-shortlisted In Every Face I Meet, the Whitbread Novel Award-winner Leading the Cheers, the acclaimed White Lightning, shortlisted for the 2002 Whitbread Novel Award, The Promise of Happiness, selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club and winner of the 2005 Hawthornden Prize, The Song Before It Is Sung and, most recently, To Heaven By Water. Justin Cartwright was born in South Africa and lives in London.