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The birthday present : a novel
Vine, Barbara
Adult Fiction VINE

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From Publishers' Weekly:

British master Vine (the pen name of Ruth Rendell), a life Labor peer who used her knowledge of politics in 2002's The Blood Doctor to explore the personal rather than the political ramifications of power, does both in this intricate novel, which charts the wreckage caused by Ivor Tesham, a Conservative member of Parliament, who concocts a kinky present for his married mistress--a mock kidnapping that results in a mixup of identities and murder. While nothing links the MP to the crime, the elitist Tesham, with his callous attitude toward people and public service alike, realizes justice may eventually catch up with him. Vine knows "how we walk all the time on that thin crust that covers terrible abysses." The consequences for the innocent victims of Tesham's recklessness provide the book's deep and genuine pathos. Full of psychological insight, this is an absolute must for Vine/Rendell enthusiasts--and those who have yet to encounter her genius. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Ivor Tesham, a dashing member of Parliament, decides to give his married mistress, Hebe, an unusual birthday gift. He hires two men to kidnap her and transport her, bound and gagged, to their weekend love nest. Everything has been carefully planned-when the kidnappers' car is hit by a truck shortly after the abduction; Hebe and one of the kidnappers are killed, the other one is seriously injured. Ivor fears obsessively that the man will recover and tell the media the truth about his involvement. Vine (The Minotaur) paints a disturbing picture of a man whose dark secret is driving him to the edge of sanity. The setup is a bit slow, but once everything is in place, the tension remains high. Highly recommended.-Linda Oliver, MLIS, Colorado Springs (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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