The Birthday Present by Barbara Vine

This novel is written by Ruth Rendell writing as Babara Vine. I enjoyed ‘A Dark Eye Adapted’ years ago and thought I would try another Barbara Vine. This one was not as good. I couldn’t really connect with any of the characters or even really like them. For me, I need to like the characters atleast one of them! The plot was very good though so the book isn’t all bad…

Ivor Tesham is a young political star in parliament . After a chance meeting with Hebe Furnal a young wife and mother, he begins a torrid love affair with her. They live for their encounters and spice things up with ‘adventure sex’. They enjoy role playing and dress-up! So for Hebe’s birthday he goes all out and plans a secret surprise! He arranges a mock-dangerous curbside kidnapping but things go horribly wrong.

Soon Ivor begins receiving anonymous letters that reveal specific details of the affair and its aftermath. What lengths will he go to keep the affair and his involvement in the ‘accident’ a secret? Will his promising career be dashed? What will become of Hebe’s husband and son?

One dark twist of fate can shake the lives of even those most insulated by privilege and power as well as the common man.

I would give this 3 out of 5 stars.


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