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The Adversary by Emmanuel Carrère

2000, Folio

On January 9, 1993, Jean-Claude Romand killed his wife, their 2 children and his parents, and attempted to kill his mistress. For almost 20 years, unemployed and living off money from family and friends who thought he was investing it for them, he convinced everyone around him that he was a successful doctor working for the World Health Organization (WHO). He is referred to in France as the "faux médecin" or "fake doctor."

Writer and journalist Emmanuel Carrère kept me on the edge of my seat, chilled to the bone. Why did Romand murder his wife and children instead of `fessing up? He never answered that question, but it seems he could not face the disintegration of his fake image. Equally, if not more frightening to contemplate is that his family and friends were so completely fooled. I couldn't help putting myself in their place.

Romand got out of prison in 2019, after 26 years.

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