It's 1990, and some critics believe that America's most celebrated chef, Joseph Soderini di Avenzano, cut a deal with the Devil to achieve fame and fortune. Whether he is actually Bocuse or Beelzebub, Avenzano is approaching the twenty-fifth anniversary of his glittering Palm Beach restaurant, Chateau de la Mer, patterned after the Michelin-starred palaces of Europe.
Journalist David Fox arrives in Palm Beach to interview the chef for a story on the restaurant's silver jubilee and quickly becomes involved with Chateau de la Mer's hostess, Alessandra, unwittingly transforming himself into Avenzano's rival. When the chef invites David to winter in Florida and write his authorized biography, he gradually becomes sucked into the restaurant's vortex-shipments of cocaine coming up from the Caribbean; the Mafia connections and unexplained murder of the chef's original partner; and the chef's ravenous ex-wives, swirling in the background like a hidden coven. As Alessandra plots the demise of the chef, David tries to sort out hallucination and reality, while Avenzano plays with him like a feline's catnip-stuffed toy.
|Publisher:||Black Opal Books|
|Product dimensions:||5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A page-turner as I’ve never seen before ** I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review** When I read the blurb for this book the first thing that got my attention was the category – Culinary Thriller. It was so intriguing I decided to give it a try. WOW! I was in for a fun roller-coaster ride! Also I had no idea this was Mr. Spivak’s first novel. Granted he’s got writing experience but he did a superb job with his first novel. Friend of the Devil will get your attention from the get-go and keep you enthralled up to the last page. Without giving away too much, I can safely say the story revolves around a reporter trying to write a story about a high-profile chef. I know that’s in the blurb but I shouldn’t say much more than that summary to avoid spoilers. What I can say though is that the author weaves an intricate story bursting with drama, action, and intrigue. Characters are multifaceted while the plot is expertly developed. Has Joe really made a pact to achieve success or was it all a publicity stunt? Can David trust the people orbiting around Joe or are they trying to backstab David? You won’t know the answers to these (and other) questions until the last page. The book is that good! Even the detailed ‘Background information’ Mr. Spivak provides at the end of the book will keep you second guessing yourself. Thanks to the internet and searching machines one can easily sort that out though. LOL I recommend this book for its unique, refreshing approach to a traditional genre that can always benefit from a new talent like Mr. Spivak. Well done, sir