Few of the characters that I'm looking at for the A-Z challenge are secondary, but Canning is one of them. The Imposter by Damon Galgut tells Adam's story, who after losing his home and his job leaves Johannesburg and retreats to a rural South African town to write poetry.
Once there he wallows in self-pity, alcohol and loneliness until he bumps into Canning at the supermarket. Apparently they went to school together and although Canning is delighted to see him and revive the relationship, Adam doesn't actually remember him. Even so he accepts his invitation to stay at the game farm Canning has inherited from the father who hated him; and so begins a strange and dangerous summer.
Canning is involved in some nefarious deals with local politicians to turn his game farm into a golf resort, has an ex-prostitute wife that he claims to adore but who obviously doesn't love him, and seems determined to uphold the illusion that Adam is his best friend and always has been, no matter how much Adam's behaviour may signify differently.
As the summer heat intensifies, the tension rises and Canning starts to appear in a different light. Although initially he seems to be a sad and foolish man in the end you are left wondering who the real fool in this novel is.