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"A smart, sophisticated literary thriller." —Jay McInerney, author of Bright, Precious Days

"Equal parts Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Destroyers is at once lyrical and suspenseful, thoughtful and riveting." —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

The Destroyers is one superb novel, a tightly woven and fast-moving narrative set in beautifully crafted prose. A read-all-night of a book.” —Alan Furst, author of A Hero of France

When Charlie and I were young, we played a game called  Destroyers. . . . We were sharpening our instincts, jettisoning attachments. We were honing strategies for survival. . . .

Arriving on the Greek island of Patmos broke and humiliated, Ian Bledsoe is fleeing the emotional and financial fallout from his father’s death. His childhood friend Charlie—rich, exuberant, and basking in the success of his new venture on the island—could be his last hope.

At first Patmos appears to be a dream—long sun-soaked days on Charlie’s yacht and the reappearance of a girlfriend from Ian’s past—and Charlie readily offers Ian the lifeline he so desperately needs. But, like Charlie himself, this beautiful island conceals a darkness beneath, and it isn’t long before the dream begins to fragment. When Charlie suddenly vanishes, Ian finds himself caught up in deception after deception. As he grapples with the turmoil left in his friend’s wake, he is reminded of an imaginary game called Destroyers they played as children—a game, he now realizes, they may have never stopped playing.

An enthralling odyssey and a gripping, expansive drama, The Destroyers is a vivid and suspenseful story of identity, power and fate, fathers and sons, and self-invention and self-deception, from a writer at the very height of his powers.

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Critical Praise

“Beautiful people visiting glamorous places, being wicked enough to bring Patricia Highsmith to mind. It just isn’t summer without this kind of globe-trotting glamour to read about, especially when most of it is set in the Aegean. Bollen is stylish enough to know what sells.... Escapism, as calculating as it gets.”   —Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Just try keeping The Talented Mr. Ripley — that shimmering 1999 movie, based on a Patricia Highsmith novel, of rich Americans getting into picturesque trouble in the sunny Mediterranean — out of your head while reading this dark-side-of-summer novel.... I rapidly turned the pages, lost in the harsh sunlight of Bollen’s world.” —Seattle Times

“Christopher Bollen... follows up his gripping thriller Orient with The Destroyers, an elegant and twisting suspense novel that is earning comparisons to the genre’s great lesbian doyenne, Patricia Highsmith.” —OUT

“A perfect summer read.... Louche, suspenseful, and polysexual.” —429

The Destroyers is a smart, sophisticated literary thriller; for all its originality, it invokes the shades of Lawrence Durrell and Graham Greene.” —Jay McInerney, author of Bright, Precious Days

The Destroyers is one superb novel, a tightly woven and fast-moving narrative set in beautifully crafted prose. A read-all-night of a book.” —Alan Furst, author of A Hero of France

“An eminently worthy heir to Patricia Highsmith. At once gritty, sandy, and silky-good reading for the beach or a yacht, too.” —Kirkus

“Intoxicating.” —Booklist

“With the swiftness of a thriller and the density of art, Christopher Bollen’s new novel explores the sting of disgrace and the dangerous lure of redemption. Equal parts Graham Greene, Patricia Highsmith, and F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Destroyers is at once lyrical and suspenseful, thoughtful and riveting.” —Garth Greenwell, author of What Belongs to You

“Atmospheric... a slow-building, literary motorbike ride down steep Greek hillsides.... The writing is sharp, languid, and lovely, and the first-person point of view is a narrowly focused beam that eventually grows to encompass the entirety of the island.” —Library Journal

“Possessed of both The Talented Mr.Ripley’s cold-blooded electricity and a beguiling elegance, The Destroyers enfolds. A propulsive, hypnotic portrait of rot at paradise’s heart and of the sprawling, inescapable tendrils of class and avarice.” —Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates

“I tore through Christopher Bollen’s The Destroyers.... Bollen writes so extraordinarily well, conjures up such striking imagery, smart dialogue and even a few jolting surprises. I loved it, and pondered the future of each character — those who survived, at any rate.” —Liz Smith, New York Social Diary  

“Engrossing….[t]he characters are drawn in vivid detail, and the atmosphere is thickly enveloping.” —New York Times, on Orient

“A gorgeously written book whose literary chops are beyond doubt. Come for the prose, and stay for the murders.” —USA Today, on Orient

“This is beach reading that’s as intelligent as it is absorbing.” —People, on Orient

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062329981
  • ISBN 10: 0062329987
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 06/27/2017
  • Pages: 496
  • List Price: 34.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: FICTION / Literary
  • BISAC2: FICTION / Psychological
  • BISAC3: FICTION / Thrillers / Suspense

The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen

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