Hector Chetwode-Talbot, Eck to his friends, has left the army after a rather nasty moment in Colombia. From a privileged background, he is slightly at a loss as to what to do next, when he is approached by an old army pal, Bilbo Mountwilliam. Bilbo runs an investment fund company and business is booming. Bilbo persuades Eck to join the company as a 'greeter', for a person with Eck's list of contacts is an easy route to a rich seam of moneyed clients. All Eck has to do is supply the contacts with entertainment and large G&Ts and then the fund managers will do the rest. Soon Eck is able to buy himself a luxury sports car and decadent flat in the city. All that is missing in his life is a woman. It is on a golfing trip to France with his friend Henry Newark that Eck first meets Charlie Summers, a fly-by-night entrepreneur who is hiding out in France after a 'misunderstanding with Her Majesty's Customs and Revenue'. Charlie's latest scheme is to import Japanese dog food into the UK. Henry casually mentions that Charlie should 'look us up' if he is ever in Gloucestershire. Not only does Charlie Summers look Henry up, he arrives with his suitcase, intent on staying with the Newarks and relaunching his dog food business in their area. But with the financial crash looming, Eck begins to ask himself if they are so very different...
Paul Torday was born in 1946 and read English Literature at Pembroke College, Oxford. He spent the next 30 years working in engineering and in industry, after which he scaled back his business responsibilities to fulfil a long-harboured ambition - to write.
He burst on to the literary scene in 2006 with his first novel, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, an immediate bestseller that has been sold in 19 countries.
He is married with two sons by a previous marriage and has two stepsons and lives close to the River North Tyne.