Simon Beckett Fine Lines

ISBN 13: 9780749001247

Fine Lines

 
9780749001247: Fine Lines
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A wealthy, slightly sinister London art dealer develops a voyeuristic obsession with his assistant, Anna, and hires an amoral male model to seduce her while he watches from behind a screen--but his impulses lead to nasty surprises--including murder. A first novel. 12,500 first printing.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

This tart sexual thriller, a first novel from Britain, will redden your cheeks with scandal and your thumbs with soreness as they race to turn each naughty, lascivious page. Alluring Anna Palmer (who is blissfully shacked up with her mousy American boyfriend, doctoral candidate Marty Westerman) unwittingly becomes the obsession of her boss, fussy, middle-aged London art dealer Donald Ramsey. Anna is sweet, smart, and sensual; Donald's flesh is seared by the platonic kisses on the cheek she gives him in gratitude for being a pal and career booster. He decides he must have her, but realizes she's too young and sexy for him. Favoring erotica over sex, trading art over creating it, and subterfuge over straightforwardness, Donald hires handsome hustler Zeppo Marks to seduce Anna on his behalf in hopes that voyeurism's vicarious thrills will sate his desire. For every obstacle that arises, Donald methodically counters with a plan B: Anna won't cheat on Marty, but Marty may be bisexual; have Zeppo try to seduce Marty instead. Zeppo grows petulantly reluctant; blackmail him with gay kiddie porn photos from his past. Marty won't be seduced; kill him. The buildup to and immediate aftermath of the grisly, cold- blooded murder are wound like a coil; the pace speeds, every chapter ends with a cliffhanger, and all of Donald's anxiety and thrills rub off on the reader. Then the novel loses some momentum: The arrival of Marty's Dad creates a domestic muddle, while subplots involving Donald's Freudianly depicted childhood and adult dating crises end with more of a whimper than a bang. But the big bang--a smoldering sex romp--is indeed a climax, and the zany plotting of the unlikely, but ultimately well-matched, crime duo of Zeppo and Donald remains suspenseful and comic. Wry, racy, and literate pulp fun. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

British journalist Beckett's first novel is a chilling tale of sexual predation. Celibate, aging art dealer Donald Ramsey returns to his London gallery for forgotten papers and comes upon his beautiful assistant, Anna, changing clothes in his office. Secretly watching from the hallway, Ramsey is transfixed by a rare sexual spark and inflamed with voyeuristic desire. Accepting his own romantic shortcomings, he lives for imagined pleasures with Anna until he learns that her brilliant but ugly American boyfriend, Marty, will be taking her back to New York. Because the pair "were very obviously in love, and when I decided to end their relationship I knew I would need help," Ramsey pays sexual athlete Zeppo Marks a fortune to seduce the young woman while he himself poses as the couple's champion. Anna and Marty remain faithful to one another, however, rebuffing every onslaught that Ramsey and Zeppo devise and forcing a desperate plan to remove Marty permanently. But even this act of murder seems less abhorrent than the evil inflicted on Anna by the two conspirators, an evil made all the more horrific by her ignorance of their role in ensuing events. Beckett skillfully brings matters to their logically sadistic conclusion, then twists his tale around by ironically echoing Freud's tenet that desire lies just the other side of repugnance-two emotions that readers are likely to feel simultaneously as they speed through this clever yet brazenly sleazy story.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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9780671892067: Fine Lines

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ISBN 10:  0671892061 ISBN 13:  9780671892067
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, 1994
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Beckett, Simon
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