by Uwe Timm
Translated from the German by Peter Tegel
The first thing to be said about Uwe Timm’s novel Headhunter, as every one of the many outstanding reviews on its publication in Germany noted, is that it is a thoroughly engrossing book - “gripping and entertaining from beginning to end” (FAZ). The second thing is that Timm, with a wonderfully light and precise touch, has created a multi-layered, multi-faceted book that addresses the times we live in and, most particularly, the role of money and the financial cannibalism of recent years. The narrator Peter Walter is a charmer, a master storyteller who has used that skill to siphon off millions from clients hoping to strike it rich on the commodities market. Escaping to Spain on the day his trial verdict is to come down, he intends to devote himself to his hobby, study of Easter Island. But a detective is on the trail of the missing millions, and Walter’s uncle, an established author, is planning to use Walter’s life story in a novel. Walter sets out to write his own intriguing autobiography - from his childhood in Hamburg’s red-light district to his success in the world of high finance.