Almost a Crime

Almost a Crime

3.5 9
by Penny Vincenzi
     
 

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In Almost a Crime, Vincenzi exposes the cracks in a British power marriage.

Tom and Octavia Fleming glitter among the chattering classes of London in the late 1990's. Tom, a brilliant political strategist, and Octavia, an equally talented charity consultant, appear to have it all—good looks, money, success, and three pretty children—everything but

Overview

In Almost a Crime, Vincenzi exposes the cracks in a British power marriage.

Tom and Octavia Fleming glitter among the chattering classes of London in the late 1990's. Tom, a brilliant political strategist, and Octavia, an equally talented charity consultant, appear to have it all—good looks, money, success, and three pretty children—everything but precious time together. When Octavia realizes that Tom is having an affair, she plots her revenge against her husband. But nothing prepares Octavia for the identity of Tom's mistress, and her misdemeanors hardly compare to the revenge enacted by the other woman after Tom calls it off. Described by Dominick Dunne as a writer "with verve and heart, immersing the reader in a world of engrossing and unforgettable glamour and passion," and praised by Barbara Taylor Bradford as "marvelously engrossing," Penny Vincenzi has been captivating European and American audiences ever since the publication of her Spoils of Time trilogy. Packed with twists and trysts, Almost a Crime continues the tradition of the thrilling Vincenzi bestseller.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Vincenzi's latest saga (after Into Temptation) exposes the cracks in a British "power marriage" and charts the frightening evolution of a spurned woman's love into a dangerous obsession. In late 1990s London, Tom and Octavia Fleming glitter among the chattering classes. Tom, a brilliant political consultant, and Octavia, an equally talented charity consultant, appear to have it all three pretty children, money, success, health and good looks everything but precious time together. When Octavia realizes that Tom is having an affair, she turns for support to her best friend, Louise Cheltenham, a former top model now married with children, and embarks on professional and sexual revenge against her husband. But her initial hurt is magnified tenfold when she learns the identity of Tom's mistress, and her misdemeanors hardly compare to the revenge plan of Tom's very troubled lover once he ends his affair. This deft, swift contemporary epic will have hooked readers exclaiming, "Good grief!" (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Fans of Vincenzi's (Into Temptation) expecting the beginnings of another thrilling family saga will be disappointed. This book takes place in 1990s London (before Princess Di's death) and bares the lives of power couple Octavia and Tom Fleming, both rich, hard-working, and boring. Vincenzi makes Octavia rather whiny, immature, and unlikable, and she never fleshes out Tom's character any more than to establish that he's handsome, smart, and has a chip on his shoulder about attending public school. As for the secondary characters, there is not one that really stands out. Octavia's best friend is the stereotypical "other woman" full of jealousy. There is a creepy relationship between Octavia and her father that borders on incest. And in more than 600 pages, the plot just plods along. Unless readers crave an inside peak into the inner workings of a rich, tiresome English family, they should read one of Vincenzi's other excellent novels instead. Marianne Fitzgerald, Severna Park High Sch., MD Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A London charity czarina and her fabulous lobbyist husband run aground over the shallows of marital infidelity in this latest from British novelist Vincenzi (No Angel, 2003, etc.). Octavia Fleming is the kind of fashionable, well-connected working mother who manages both to enrich her power marriage with social contacts and to return home intact to tuck in her school-age twins and her baby. "Combine and Rule" is how the glossies treat the Flemings' marriage, although Octavia finds her professional integrity in danger of compromise when public-affairs consultant Tom Fleming suggests she throw her sensitive charity know-how into helping a developer construct a community center. Meanwhile, Octavia's businessman father, Felix Miller, detests Tom for taking his only daughter away from him (her mother died in childbirth), but tosses the son-in-law business from time to time; aging Felix has a longtime society live-in girlfriend, Marianne, who has to shuffle two teenaged daughters, Romilly and Zo‰, as well as appease her temperamental lover. There is a cast of thousands in this busy, tedious novel, and once Octavia finds evidence of Tom's affair, she reveals as much to her father. Plus, she has to deal with the news that the mother of her best friend from college, Louise, is sick with cancer, while Tom seems to be pounding away at easing a proposed merger of charming player Nico Cadogan's financial group. Even politicians make a timely cameo here, in the form of Gabriel Bingham, a Labour leader who is also extremely attracted to the bereft Octavia. Yet Octavia simply can't resist loving her sexy husband. As for the prospect of being a stay-at-home mom: It would have left the restless, questing,ambitious Octavia "bored, depressed, and therefore, and inevitably, a bad mother."Vincenzi's fatally bloated novel nods to the sweet daddy-daughter partnership, and neatly compartmentalizes the guilt working women feel for leaving their children at home with nannies.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590207949
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
10/30/2007
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
672
Sales rank:
225,261
File size:
1 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Penny Vincenzi, before becoming a novelist, worked at such magazines as Vogue, Tatler, and Cosmopolitan. She is the author of The Dilemma, Almost a Crime, No Angel, Something Dangerous, Into Temptation, Sheer Abandon, An Absolute Scandal, An Outrageous Affair, Windfall, and Forbidden Places, all available from Overlook.

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