The American: Previously published as A Very Private Gentleman
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: August 2010
Duration: 10 hours 4 minutes
The locals in the southern Italian town where he lives call him Signor Farfalla—Mr. Butterfly—for he is a discreet gentleman who paints rare butterflies. His life is inconspicuous—mornings spent brushing at a canvas, afternoons idling in the cafés, and evenings talking with his friend, the town priest, over a glass of brandy.
Yet there are other sides to this gentleman's life: Clara, the young student who moonlights in the town bordello, and another woman, who arrives with one hundred thousand dollars and a commission—but not for a painting of butterflies.
With this assignment returns the dark fear that has dogged Signor Farfalla's mysterious life. Almost instantly, he senses a deadly circle closing in on him, one which he may or may not elude.
Part thriller, part character study, part drama of deceit and self-betrayal, The American shows Martin Booth at the very height of his powers.
"Booth constructs his most focused, tightly written novel to date, reminiscent of William Trevor's classic Felicia's Journey and the late Patricia Highsmith's Ripley novels."—Publishers Weekly