The Adversary (2000) Book Review

A true story of monstrous deception: the protagonist is an adversary, hiding his true self, sneaky and murderous, rooted in evil. This book will scare you, make you question what you see everyday and see people very differently. I am so glad I read this.

Having never seen the film I went to the book with an open mind, and it was truly horrifying but entrancing at the same time.

The book is about a man who creates a facade, pretending he is a successful doctor with a high-profile lifestyle, money, friends and a happy family life. He fakes everything so much that he almost believes it himself. When he is about to be discovered he murders his family, including his young children and hides it for a crazy amount of time even creating a lie as to how it must have happened.


The author, Emmanuel Carrere is a famous French screen writer, author, film director and journalist. This book showcases all his talents as he sees inside the human mind to tell a story of true horror and abomination.

Emmanuel Carrere; Source from Google.

When I first read the blurb I had not realised it was based around an actual real-life case, which makes it all the more astounding.

“On the Saturday morning of January 9, 1993, while Jean-Claude Romand was killing his wife and children, I was with mine in a parent-teacher meeting…”

The story is exploration of Christianity versus sin, what makes people go to the extremes of the insane and how the people closest to us can become blind to each another.

All the time I was reading this fantastic book I was questioning how Romand could tell so many lies. How could it be true? How can you forge this kind of lifestyle? How can you fake being a doctor? How can you kill your family?

The story really does make you question so many things. How can society be so blind? What was going through this mans mind? Emmanuel answers all these eloquently but we are still left wondering:

“Isn’t it the adversary deceiving him (God) yet again?”

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