Adrian Turpin

Smelling a Baccarat

The Ballad of a Small Player

By Lawrence Osborne

Hogarth Press 224pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

In the casinos of Macau, a corrupt English solicitor masquerading as ‘Lord Doyle’ burns through a pile of stolen cash. His game of choice is punto banco, a version of baccarat requiring no skill, so his future lies in the hands of either mathematical chance or the supernatural. Which is it? The question will literally haunt the protagonist of Lawrence Osborne’s new novel. In turn, Doyle will cast an increasingly spectral shadow on those around him. It is no coincidence that Cantonese slang for foreigner is gwai lo, which translates as ‘ghost person’.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Lucy Popescu () appeals on the behalf of Rashad Ramazanov, a writer and blogger imprisoned in Azerbaijan ,
    • ''the icon of restlessness for a world that never seems able to settle.'' How Hamlet went on tour ,
    • . is upon us. Look out for free copies of Literary Review for festival attendees.,
    • 'If there is a god, nature is the breath of it and art ... is its messenger.' Jan Morris contemplates Wordsworth ,
    • Weekend read 2: Take inspiration from Jonathan Meades's 'anti'-recipes and 'serve up a treat' this Sunday ,
    • If you're at , starting tomorrow, there are free copies of Literary Review for festival attendees. Grab while stocks last!,
    • Weekend read 1: 'The fiery meteor that was Victor Grayson', as presented in David Clark's biography ,