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1 Burnside Mystery- A to Z

The Birthday Present

by

The Birthday Present Cover

ISBN13: 9780307451989
ISBN10: 0307451984
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ivor Tesham is a handsome, single, young member of Parliament whose political star is on the rise. When he meets a woman in a chance encounter-a beautiful, leggy, married woman named Hebe-the two become lovers obsessed with their trysts, spiced up by what the newspapers like to call “adventure sex.”

Its the dress-up and role-play that inspire Ivor to create a surprise birthday present for his beloved that involves a curbside kidnapping. Its all intended as mock-dangerous foreplay, but then things take a dark turn.

After things go horribly wrong, Ivor begins to receive anonymous letters that reveal astonishingly specific details about the affair and its aftermath. Somehow he must keep his role from being uncovered-and his political future from being destroyed by scandal.

Like a heretic on the inquisitors rack, Ivor is not to be spared the exquisitely slow and tortuous unfolding of events, as hints, nuances, and small revelations lay his darkest secrets hideously bare for all the world to see.

The Birthday Present is a deft, insightful, and compulsively readable exploration of obsessive desire-and the dark twists of fate that can shake the lives of even those most insulated by privilege, sophistication, and power.

Review:

"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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

Barbara Vine is the pen name of Ruth Rendell, it's announced clearly here, and I admit I don't quite understand why Ruth Rendell would want to be Barbara Vine, since she seems to be doing just fine as Ruth Rendell, but there it is. Under either name, she's what you'd have to call — cliche coming up! — a consummate professional. Within the first five pages of "The Birthday Present," you know you're... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

About the Author

Barbara Vines acclaimed novels include The Minotaur, The Blood Doctor, and Annas Book. She has won many awards for literary accomplishment, both as Barbara Vine and as Ruth Rendell, including three Edgar Awards and four Gold Daggers.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Bookwomyn, April 13, 2009 (view all comments by Bookwomyn)
I think when Ruth Rendell writes as Barbara Vine that her books are better! This book was very riviting ... lots of intrigue, insider views of British politics, class issues and human frailty. Mystery readers will love this book.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307451989
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Rendell, Ruth
Author:
Vine, Barbara
Publisher:
Crown
Subject:
General
Subject:
Politicians
Subject:
Adultery
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Subject:
Political fiction
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090310
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
336
Dimensions:
9.50x6.40x1.21 in. 1.28 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Popular Fiction » Adventure

The Birthday Present Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 336 pages Shaye Areheart Books - English 9780307451989 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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