Mortal Friends

( 12 )

Overview

"When the latest victim of the "Beltway Basher" is found in the woods of Montrose Park, Reven Lynch's favorite jogging spot, her crime-loving antenna goes up. The murder makes Reven and her best friend, Violet Bolton, reconsider their running route - but that's not the only change in Reven's routine. Her chic Georgetown neighborhood isn't accustomed to brutal slayings, and when the smooth, enigmatic Detective Gunner shows up in her antique shop, asking pointed questions, Reven's left wondering how close to home the killings are." "Gunner is

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Overview

"When the latest victim of the "Beltway Basher" is found in the woods of Montrose Park, Reven Lynch's favorite jogging spot, her crime-loving antenna goes up. The murder makes Reven and her best friend, Violet Bolton, reconsider their running route - but that's not the only change in Reven's routine. Her chic Georgetown neighborhood isn't accustomed to brutal slayings, and when the smooth, enigmatic Detective Gunner shows up in her antique shop, asking pointed questions, Reven's left wondering how close to home the killings are." "Gunner is convinced the murderer is a society bigshot hiding in plain sight. But he is out of his element in the rarefied world of embassy dinners and symphony balls, and Reven is perfectly positioned to feed him the inside information he needs. She throws herself into her role as the detective's "ersatz Mata Hari," only to discover that the prominent skirt-chasing businessman for whom she's fallen tops Gunner's shortlist of suspects. And that's not the half of it: a philanthropic bombshell named Cynthia Rinehart has taken the city by storm, and Violet's steady marriage is suddenly encountering some major turbulence." During the course of the investigation, the social world will unravel, an old friendship will be put to the test, scandalous secrets will be unleashed, and Reven will discover that nothing old or new, in high culture or low life, is what it appears. A riveting tale of murder, money, and high society, set in the glamorous, politics-fueled world of the nation's capital.

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  • Jane Stanton Hitchcock
    Jane Stanton Hitchcock  

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In bestseller Hitchcock's whirling and suspenseful comedy of manners, gauche, aggressive Cynthia Rinehart, a self-made millionairess, explodes onto the philanthropy scene and the grand dames of old money Washington collectively clutch their husbands. Meanwhile, the Beltway Basher, suspected to be a member of the D.C. elite, continues to bump off young brunettes. Reven Lynch, an unmarried antique-shop owner, is tapped to play society informant, perhaps because her love interest, notorious playboy (and the D.C. version of Sex and the City's "Mr. Big") Bob Poll, is also a person of interest in the case. Gossip, manipulation and infidelity all happen behind Washington's velvet curtain, and it's the stuff of high school, but with higher-nay, deadlier-stakes. And among the backbiting, Hitchcock (Social Crimes) manages to stew a convincing homicide plot, peppered with enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing, and guessing again, to the novel's neat finish. (Aug.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal
New York Times best-selling author Hitchcock—whose Audie Award-nominated One Dangerous Lady (2006) is also available from Blackstone Audio—uses the Washington, DC, social scene as a backdrop for her fifth mystery, following The Witches' Hammer (2008). Hoping to track down a serial killer known as the Beltway Basher, Det. George Gunner enlists antiques dealer and society insider Reven Lynch to spy on guests at several key area events. The novel is well paced, with several believable twists. Driving it are Hitchcock's satiric tone and wit, ably conveyed by actress/narrator Jennifer Van Dyck (Dark Lover). Highly recommended for mystery audiences and high-society wannabes.—Joyce Kessel, Villa Maria Coll., Buffalo
Vogue
"Riveting murder mystery"
Bob Woodward
"A dazzling, wicked murder mystery that unmasks most of Washington, which may never be the same."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061173707
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/30/2009
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 947,593
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Jane Stanton Hitchcock is the New York Times bestselling author of Mortal Friends, The Witches' Hammer, Social Crimes, and Trick of the Eye, as well as several plays. She lives with her husband, syndicated foreign-affairs columnist Jim Hoagland, in New York City and Washington, D.C.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 19, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    "A SAVVY SOCIAL SATIRE"

    Mysteries are all the more intriguing when mixed with power, seasoned with adultery, deception, the wealthy, and served from an exciting location. Jane Stanton Hitchcock has that formula down pat as we saw in Social Crimes and Trick of the Eye. She again followed this pattern with her latest, Mortal Friends.
    The scene is Washington, D.C. and there's a serial killer dubbed the Beltway Baser on the loose. He seems to have a bent for female victims and left his latest in Georgetown, enclave of the rich and political. One of the many who devours news re the murders is Reven Lynch, owner of an upscale antique shop. Reven (so named because it's 'never' spelled backward and her parents never expected to have a child) is very attractive, and knows who to hang out with. Her good friend, Violet, is wed to a wealthy banker.
    While one might think never the twain would never meet Reven does meet George Gunner, a detective assigned to investigate the murders. He believes that the killings are tied to a very important person (VIPs aren't on his speed dial), so he enlists the help of Reven to help him navigate the corridors of push and plunder.
    Ooops, the suspect that George comes up with is not at all who Reven would have thought, and she finds herself in a very sticky situation (that's an understatement).
    Jennifer Van Dyke gives excellent voice to narrator Reven, especially when making acerbic comments about some Washington insiders and their women.
    Enjoy!
    - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    Unusual premise.

    Easy read, enjoyed it overall.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Mortal Friends is what some people imagine DC is really like

    This book kept me in suspense until the very end. You suspected almost every character of being the serial killer. The outcome was a real surprise. It's refreshing to see a book with such a good plot. So many mysteries are not really mysteries. You can tell by the style of writing who the "bad guy" is almost from the beginning.

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  • Posted August 22, 2009

    QUICK READ/DC Fun

    Summer quick read. Always love to read about DC since I've been there many times. Characters and plot a bit shallow. But, a fun read.

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  • Posted August 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A clever mystery with some surprise twists

    Jane Stanton Hitchcock's newest novel Mortal Friends is a seductive mystery set in Georgetown, where the real Washington DC power lies.

    When the Beltway Basher's latest victim is found in a nearby park, best friends society matron Violet and antique shop owner Reven get involved in the crime. Violet is obsessed with true life crime stories, and Reven becomes entangled when a police detective asks her for help in solving the case.

    Hitchcock expertly draws the reader into this story and the world of political high society in Washington DC. She gives enough clues for readers to think themselves very clever when they figure out a few of mysteries, then throws in some twists that will send the reader reeling with surprise.

    Her descriptions of characters place them firmly in the mind of the reader."Grant was Mr. Straight Arrow. No, actually he was more like a totem pole: tall, wooden, and joyless." You get Grant right away from that. She describes an obscenely wealthy woman as wearing jewelry "clearly designed to illuminate her bank account as much as her face".

    Grant's statement about his overbearing mother, "Mother can't admit she's wrong, therefore she never is", explains a lot about Grant's relationship with her. But my favorite line is Reven's about her boarding school reunion: "Nobody looks great after forty. We just look better or worse than other people our age". That gives one pause to think.

    The story moves along at a brisk pace, and Hitchcock spikes her novel with references to real events, like the Chandra Levy murder and the Washington DC sniper attacks, that add to its authenticity. Hitchcock clearly knows Washington DC society, and gives the reader the inside scoop on the intrigue of it.

    Those who like mysteries that challenge the reader to pay close attention in an attempt to figure it out will appreciate this clever, seductive society story.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2009

    Not a must read

    The beginning of the book was okay, I felt like grabbing another book. The middle got interesting, but then it ended like a bad lifetime movie. I felt like I wasted my time. It was somewhat predictable- no originality.

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