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Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada
My virtue is that I say what I think, my vice that what I think doesn't amount to much.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Birthday Present

I chose this to read on a long flight because I knew a Barbara Vine (aka Ruth Rendall) mystery wouldn't disappoint. I work in a political job and I liked that this novel was about the rise and fall of a young and ambitious British politician, Ivor Tesham, during the Thatcher years. We get to watch him self destruct as he begins a kinky affair with a married woman, decides to up the ante, dodges the consequences of a fantasy gone terribly wrong and is ultimately forced to face the music. We know from the beginning that he will be caught but there are a lot of twists and turns before he is done in. The story is told by two narrators: Tesham's straight-laced brother-in-law and a plain Jane, slightly unbalanced, friend of Tesham's girlfriend who provided an alibi the night things went awry. This novel is about making reckless mistakes that come back to haunt. As usual Vine provides a good story with well drawn, complex characters and an intelligent plot. It made the hours fly by on my flight to Venice, exactly what I wanted.

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