FICTION

A Beautiful Crime

Harper HarperCollins. Jan. 2020. 400p. ISBN 9780062853882. $28.99 ;. F
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Christopher Bollen has given readers first-rate entertainment in his popular crime novels (Orient; The Destroyers)—attractive young people, beautiful locations, contentious families, fabulous wealth, lies and deceit, friendship and passion, and dirty deeds. This enjoyable new novel is set in another gorgeous location, Venice, and the “beautiful crime” of the title involves family silver and a nasty piece of work named Richard Forsyth West, a wealthy businessman who richly deserves the payback he receives in the final pages of the story. The novel is really about love, though. In fact, Bollen tells two love stories. The first involves Clay Guillory, a young man who falls in love with an older, wealthy gentleman, Freddy van der Haar, who he nurses lovingly during the long final stages of a terminal illness. No one in Freddy’s family can believe this is anything more than gold-digging, but the relationship is revealed to be tender and authentic. The second involves Clay and his new boyfriend, Nick Brink, a relationship that begins as the two become partners in crime but develops into something deeper. The two love stories are each linked in significant ways to the criminal adventure.
VERDICT : Skillfully wrought genre fiction. Recommended for fans of crime fiction and M/M romance.

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