|The Billion Pound Lie by Bill Dare|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: What's it like to be a billionaire? Struggling barista Leo does his best to find out when mistaken for a lottery winner. Fun read with plenty of depth.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 342||Date: May 2019|
|Publisher: Salopian Press|
|External links: Author's website|
Can you imagine what it would be like to win a billion pounds? The UK's biggest ever lottery winners were a couple from Ayrshire, who won a £161 million EuroMillions jackpot a few years ago. That's so much money that it landed them on the Sunday Times Rich List of the UK's thousand most wealthy people. So a billion pounds. That's a lot, right? Can you imagine it? What would you do? Would you try to remain anonymous? And, if you did, how would this affect your relationships with your nearest and dearest? What it would be like? How could you keep your friends and family from knowing that you were now one of the richest people in the country?
Leo, a struggling barista with a coffee trike, does not have this problem. He has the opposite problem! Leo hasn't won the newly introduced billion pound lottery jackpot but, due to a drunken night and a few loose lips, people think he has.
Leo's life hasn't been going too well. He's split up from his wife Helen, who is tired of a long line of failed business ideas and a short line in family finance. Leo is desperate for a reconciliation - not least because he still loves Helen, but also because he misses his daughter - but Helen is trying to move on and has met a new man in Tony. A skirmish between the two men doesn't help Leo's chances and when the bank manager turns down his loan application and his landlord evicts him, Leo uses his coffee trike takings to drown his sorrows with his friend Vince. And somehow, as word spreads that the billion pound winner lives in Leo's hometown, and Leo splashes his remaining cash on chocolate and drinks, everyone gets the wrong idea...
... cue an hilarious interlude in which Leo and Vince play along with the rumours, taking as much advantage of the free stuff given to rich people as they can and making philanthropic promises to ill children and other worthy causes that they can't possibly keep.
Of course, it all ends in tears. Or does it?
I thoroughly enjoyed The Billion Pound Lie, I really did! On the face of it, it's a great slapstick comedy and the perfect holiday read. Leo's a nice chap at heart but a bit hapless. You can't help but like him even though you're laughing at his antics and you really want things to work out for him. It's nice and light and fun. But underneath the comedy lie some more biting satirical themes. It's true: if you're rich, you pay for less. People give you freebies because they want to impress you or want to associate themselves with you because it makes them look good. Why is a struggling barista unworthy of help and publicity but a billionaire is not? Without giving it all away and spoiling a great read for you, The Billion Pound Lie also explores the cutthroat world of tabloid journalism, religion, finance, love, friendship, and even organised crime. It's cleverly plotted so that each in a large character list has a significant part to play and you'll be guessing how everything fits together almost to the very last page.
The Billion Pound Lie will make you laugh. A lot. But it will also give you plenty of pause for thought, without ever lecturing or hectoring. What's not to like?!
You can read more book reviews or buy The Billion Pound Lie by Bill Dare at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Billion Pound Lie by Bill Dare at Amazon.com.
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