Currently Rated FIVE STARS on

“A feast of surprises... Fascinating characters and a story with a powerful view of love and sex. I couldn’t put it down”

Pauline Collins

“A cracking book”

Matthew Cain,

(Culture Editor, Channel-4 News)

"The Impersonator" is a terrific read.  Obsessive adult love and passionate teenage longing set in London in the late l960's.  The city is evoked with every detail ringing absolutely true.

Compelling characters, a dazzling show-business background, powerful emotions running wild, lots of sex and a brilliant twist at the end.

Then, when you really think it's all over, an Epilogue showing that it really isn't.  What's not to love?

Caroline Graham

(Creator, "Midsomer Murders")

from ‘Attitude’ July 2011

“A PERFECT book for the beach this summer” Neil Sexton,  Gaydar Radio UK

Tweet from Stephen Ashfield (West End Star)

“I'm very excited to be reading excerpts from Ann Mann's new book "The Impersonator" at the launch this evening. Honestly, get a copy as soon as you can!”

Tweet from Bernie Katz - Prince of Soho!

“Ann Mann’s latest book The Impersonator is a brilliant page turner. I'm not going to work because I'm reading. Full stop.”

“We’ve saved the BEST til last........!”

Jeni Barnett

BBC Radio

‘Ex-BBC Producer Ann Mann has had her first novel published.

‘The Impersonator’ is a story of obsession set in the sixties. “It features a love triangle with a difference!” says Ann who has talked about her remarkable achievement in a number of BBC radio and magazine interviews.’

BBC ‘Prospero’

Video of the launch of “The Impersonator” - May 19 2011

Ann Mann is interviewed in front of an invited audience at The Groucho Club London by Matthew Cain (Culture Editor, Channel 4 News) with readings by Stephen Ashfield.

Click on the link below to hear some of these Celebrity Interviews with Neil and Debbie on Gaydar Radio UK

including Ann Mann talking about “The Impersonator”:

Typical review by a member of the public who purchased ‘The Impersonator’ from:’

5.0 out of 5 stars

Double Duplicity, Innocence, and Intrigue, July 2, 2011


Bambi Vincent - See all my reviews


This review is from: The Impersonator (Paperback)

Film options for The Impersonator are sure to be promptly snapped up. I've seen the film in my mind, so richly drawn and fully developed are the novel's characters. Not that a film requires such depth when its action moves so quickly... 

Double duplicity, innocence, and intrigue rush the story forward, while heavy doses of eroticism heat it up to an X rating--and I'm not sure it could be toned down. A family film this won't be. 

The story takes place in 1960s London, within the entertainment industry. If you've never been backstage, in the darkened wings of live theater, in the star's dressing room, or in an agent's back office, this book will have you wiping the greasepaint from your fingertips, sweating from the dressing table lightbulbs, and waving away the cigarette smoke and whisky fumes. Having worked in the entertainment world for twenty-five years, I can verify that the competitive atmosphere, individual insecurities, and artist anxiety that Ann Mann has evoked is authentic and exists today. 

The book's two protagonists are intensely likable. One is Jack Merrick, a hard-working, principled entertainment agent whose company has grown to be respected and powerful. Jack inhabits a parallel secret existence that complicates his life; a secret that today would hardly be worthy of a whisper, but in his era, carried moral and criminal repercussions. 

The other protagonist is his 15-year-old Rhodesian niece, suddenly and traumatically orphaned and sent to live with Jack, her only kin. Elizabeth is a sharp cookie but, having been raised on a farm in a remote corner of Africa, is woefully naive compared to London teenagers--or any teen raised in a developed nation. With hormones raging and emotions in a delicate state, she's thrust into a milieu so far outside her realm--actually so far outside most people's realm--that only her backbone and fortitude see her through. Her coming-of-age is sudden, muddled by her wide-eyed gullibility and bolstered by her pluckiness. 

There's an antagonist, of course. A magnetic Machiavellian who employs his universal charisma to manipulate those who love him--or think they love him--toward his egocentric goal. A magnetic Machiavellian might be a loathsome bore drawn by another author, but Laurie Christian, a physical beauty, is fascinating in a sort of feak-show way: you can't quite take your eyes off him, waiting to see what he'll do next, how far he'll go, how many suckers he can string along. Today we'd label him a consummate social engineer, but back in the 60s his type were simply called con artists. 

Finally, a strong supporting role is filled by Sylvia, Jack's competent partner and confidante. She's a fully-fleshed character whose vivid past drives her principles today. A character who, I hope, will spin off to feature in this future film's sequel. (I'm looking very far ahead!) Sylvia is the omniscient glue between the others: their conscience and voice of reason. Reticent, yet brave and stalwart, she grits her teeth and does what needs to be done, through tears, exhaustion, or cold sweat. 

Three of the main characters are achingly, palpably lonely, and carry secrets like needy pets. While Jack is weighed down by his, Elizabeth giddily collects her secrets, confiding to her diary then reveling in the grown-up feeling of safeguarding them. Sylvia's are repressed until events force them to surface and give her the strength to take dramatic action for the sake of those she loves. 

Few of us have previously glimpsed the theater and cabaret underworld we inhabit while reading The Impersonator. Ann Mann escorts us like a practiced guide or a trusted friend. And, as if that isn't a fascinating enough setting for a story, she gives us a peek--then thrusts us inside--even more alien territory (at least to me) when we slip behind the bedroom door to witness the homosexual intimacies between men. The door clicks shut behind us and our eyes are wide open. 

Notice I haven't revealed a word about plot? I can't bear to give away the slightest hint. Let me just say it's a page-turner, replete with cheating, lies, deceit, inappropriate intimacies, surprises, rough sex, plot twists, a delightful reference to pickpocketing, drunken orgies, gratifying vengeance, illnesses, injuries, backstage secrets revealed, and a very satisfying ending. 

I can't wait for the film, even though I know that books are always better. I really enjoyed The Impersonator.


Violence, love and showbusiness meet in The Impersonator, which sees two lives change forever

“Mr. Merrick, were you aware that you are named as the next of kin of Miss Elizabeth Tarrant?”

The life of Jack Merrick, 42-year-old talent agent, impresario and homosexual, is uprooted when his sister and brother-in-law are brutally murdered at their farmhouse in Rhodesia, orphaning their 15-year-old child, Elizabeth Tarrant. As the next of kin, his niece Elizabeth who he hasn’t seen for over 10 years is placed in his care, moving into his home in London. Jack tries to shut his personal life off to care for her but ends up embarking on a downward spiral into depression.

It is 1966, the era of free love, where a single flower became the symbol for peace; the era where censorship and prejudice practiced by those in authority caused misery to thousands like Jack. The fifteen-year-old Elizabeth embraces the change she finds in London, but her vulnerability together with the physical confusion of adolescence, compels her to lead her life through an elaborate maze of plots and schemes after she meets ‘the impersonator’. This is the story of two family members who become hopelessly infatuated with the same person. 

The Impersonator was inspired by my time as a young singer coming up to London from the West Country and living and working in Soho,” explains author Ann Mann. Ann is also inspired by authors including Daphne Du Maurier, Andrea Newman and Joanna Trollope. The publication of The Impersonator was celebrated on Thursday 19th of May at The Groucho Club in London when Ann was interviewed by Channel 4 News Culture Editor Matthew Cain.


ISBN: 9781848765856 (paperback) 9781848765917 (hardback) 9781848796458 (ebook) 

Price: £7.99 (paperback) £13.95 (hardback) £5.99 (ebook)

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