Nancy Geary Misfortune: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780446610940

Misfortune: A Novel

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9780446610940: Misfortune: A Novel
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Returning to the Hamptons--a privileged community with dark secrets--star prosecutor Frances Pratt returns to a murder within her own family. As she begins a dangerous hunt for answers, she uncovers demons with many deceitful faces--prejudice, betrayal, and snobbery. In a shocking endgame, Frances will have to confront a shattering truth about her blue-blooded clan--and herself. (June)

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About the Author:

Born in New York City, I was raised in two very different worlds. My father was the principal of a specialist firm on Wall Street. He was extremely disciplined and determined to teach his children the importance of hard work and financial self-sufficiency. He also was a man who cherished ritual and continuity. He bought a home in Southampton, New York, and joined several private country clubs there so that we could return to the same community summer after summer. My mother is a photographer. She didn't insist that I go to school and often took me to museums or the movies instead. I missed a week of fourth grade to see an entire Katherine Hepburn film festival. She and her husband entertained a constant stream of artists, actors, writers and musicians and I remember many evenings where bedtime was forgotten so that I could participate in the conversation. My mother tried to instill in me an appreciation for diversity and creativity. She urged me not to fear a lack of convention. After four years in public service as an assistant attorney general in the Criminal Bureau of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and two years in private practice at a large Boston law firm, I abandoned my legal career. I had fantasized about being a writer for years, but was apprehensive about giving up my profession. After a number of family traumas forced me to examine my own life, I realized that I would rather be a failed author than a dreamless lawyer. I wrote most of Misfortune while living on Cape Cod. I recently moved with my son and our two dogs to a small town about an hour from New York City. My favorite childhood authors were William Steig and E.B. White. I still read E.B. White's essays whenever I feel uninspired. Some of my favorite authors now are Kazuo Ishiguro, Joyce Carol Oates, Anita Shreve, Louis Begley, David Guterson and Wally Lamb. P.D. James inspires me because of her development of rich characters within a novel of suspense framework. John Berendt's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil greatly influenced me in writing Misfortune because of his skill in capturing the essence of a society. NANCY GEARY was a prosecutor for the Criminal Bureau of the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, a participant in the Attorney General's Urban Violence Strike Force, and an attorney with Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston. Her family summers in Southampton. She is completing work on her second novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

By the time Clio Pratt's body is discovered in the ladies' room of an exclusive Southampton Country Club nearly halfway through this debut murder mystery, almost a dozen suspects, not to mention the reader, want her dead. She blackballs the club membership of an African-American surgeon; she refuses her stepdaughter's desperate request for a loan; she spreads rumors about her widowed friend; she undercuts her husband's business partner. It's business as usual for the Long Island elite whose obsession with appearances, according to Geary, supports a self-important, often destructive social hierarchy. Investigating the crime is Frances Pratt, the victim's stepdaughter, now living on the less affluent North Fork and working as an assistant DA. Frances interviews her father (a stroke victim), her mother (a divorcee having an affair with Frances's boss), and her sister (a gallery owner with expensive taste in artists) as well as the many people Clio has insulted, duped, betrayed and offended. When not delving into her disturbing family history, Frances finds consolation in the arms of a neighbor who cooks, gardens and listens well. Harvard Law graduate Geary proves herself more adept with details of the law court than the tennis court. Her crime and criminals are logical and her investigator is methodical, but her depiction of the Long Island elite milieu is only People magazine-deep. This first novel is more workmanlike than inspired, but Geary shows promise as a nuts-and-bolts crime writer. Agent, Nick Ellison. Foreign rights sold in France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. (July)Forecast: Author publicity in New York, Long Island, Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard and Boston targets the right audiences, but the book is lacking in the requisite Hamptons glitz even the jacket is more tasteful than titillating. Misfortune?

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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