Author(s): Barbara Vine
Mention his name and most people will say, 'Who?' while the rest think for a bit and ask if he wasn't the one who got involved in all that sleaze back whenever it was ...? It's late spring of 1990 and a love affair is flourishing: between Ivor Tesham, a thirty-three year old rising star of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, and Hebe Furnal, a stunning North London housewife stuck in a dull marriage. What excitement Hebe lacks at home, however, is amply compensated for by the well-bred and intensely attractive Tesham - an ardent womanizer and ambitious politican. On the eve of her twenty-eighth birthday, Tesham decides to give Hebe a present to remember: something far more memorable than, say, the costly string of pearls he's already lavished upon her. Involving a fashionable new practice known as 'adventure sex', a man arranges for his unsuspecting but otherwise willing girlfriend to be snatched from the street, bound and gagged, and delivered to him at a mutually agreed venue...Set amidst an age of IRA bombings, the first Gulf War, and sleazy politics, &quot;The Birthday Present&quot; is the gripping story of a fall from grace, and of a man who carries within him all the hypocrisy, greed and self-obsession of a troubled era. First published 2008.
Praise for Barbara Vine
"One of the most remarkable novelists of her generation."
"The best mystery writer in the English-speaking world."
"One of the ï¬ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂnest practitioners of her craft in the English-speaking world."
--"The New York Times Book Review"
"Her clear, shapely prose casts the mesmerizing spell of the confessional."
--"The New Yorker"
"A brilliant writer."
"Queen of suspense. . . . She's a master of technique."
--"Detroit Free Press"
"Surely one of the greatest novelists presently at work in our language."
"Those who haven't read her books have missed something unique and wonderful."
"Barbara Vine has transcended her genre by her remarkable imaginative power to explore and illuminate the dark corners of the human psyche."
--P. D. James
"Unequivocally the most brilliant mystery writer of our time. She magniï¬ÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂcently triumphs in a style that is uniquely hers and mesmerizing."