The world knows him as the head of an advertising firm that accepts only ethical, eco-friendly businesses as clients. But, behind that mask he's deeply cynical, a man whose commitment to the green sector is entirely dependent on the fact that it's made him rich and important. He runs his office in the Silicon Valley style, letting his staff embrace their inner child at all times. However, that's just because encouraging infantilism makes them easier to control.
Haskin, basically, has the heart of a psychopath. He knows hired killers and identity thieves, and has a penchant for eating dog, sliced thin like veal and breaded, because it shores up his self-image as a wolf among sheep.
His vocation is to make people into ideal consumers, but he feels equal contempt for those who resist joining the consumerist herd and those who lack the imagination to look beyond it. What little social conscience he has is manifested in his son, who writes letters detailing his journey from Ivy League jock to environmentalist.
He only has three true friends: all are now rich businessmen, and all, like him, were orphans raised in the strict children's home of Mr Hand, who set them on the road to success. Haskin's PR skills have been smoothing their paths for years. But lately they haven't been feeling that he's doing enough for them. So Haskin devises the most audacious, tasteless campaign of his life.
Satire like this can seem heavy-handed and past its sell-by date. But there's a whole new world of eco-friendly success stories out there to skewer, a generation of Hollywood stars who think that buying a recycled ethnic trinket outweighs the carbon footprint of their private jets.
It's when dealing with targets like this that McLeod bares his fangs and feels at his most timely: not when invoking the wolf in sheep's clothing that is Jim Haskin, but pointing out the self-deceit exercised by legions of conspicuous consumers whose consciences can be salved at negligible cost to themselves. McLeod's bursts of righteous indignation are sharp, and there's a savagery to them that can't be faked.
Charles McLeod, Vintage, £8.99