It is the summer of 1990 – the 80s boom time is fading, the satanic abuse panic rages – and one strange market town, unchanged for decades, suddenly and disastrously runs out of money. The crisis brings together the mayor, the townsfolk and a mysterious stranger who sets out to help turn the town’s fortunes around. No one really knows anything about the enigmatic newcomer or why he wants to help – not until the truth unfolds with catastrophic consequences.
This is a unique tale of how things change over the passage of time: of families torn apart by WWII; the explosion of money and clone towns; growing up, and buried secrets and psychological trauma caused by them. It is also a Pied Piper story for our own times, examining the frailties of the modern economy and the unique phenomena of local currencies.
David Boyle is a writer specialising in history, ideas and economics. He also writes compelling novels, and has experience as a leading authority on new kinds of money, and one of those who launched the Clone Town campaign, insisting that high streets should look distinctive. This novel emerged partly out of that experience.