My Rating: 3/5
Author: Sally Beauman
Title: Lovers and Liars
In the first book of a trilogy of seductive, suspense-packed Sally Beauman novels, a man and woman stumble upon a political conspiracy in which nothing is what it seems . . . and no one can be trusted.
Just after New Year’s, four small parcels are delivered to Paris, Venice, New York, and London. Photojournalist Pascal Lamartine is sent a woman’s left-handed black leather glove. Reporter Gini Hunter receives a pair of handcuffs. They soon discover that the anonymous packages may be linked to a breaking sex scandal that could rock the world’s political stage.
Who sent the packages, and why? As the dogged journalists delve into a sordid world of lies and deceit, call girls and secret trysts, Gini and Pascal rekindle their own passionate affair. The truth goes back farther than they imagine . . . to the other side of the world and a long-awaited revenge.
Lovers and Liars is a romantic mystery that takes place in England (mostly) during the 1990s (so it was contemporary at the time it was written.) In the story, an English journalist, Gini, and a French photographer, Pascal, join forces on an assignment about a potential political scandal. As they delve deeper into investigations, they find that there is more to the story than they originally thought. With their lives in danger, they are even more determined to find the truth behind the rumors.
The story is written in third person, mostly following Gini and Pascal. At the beginning of the book, there are four parcels that went out internationally – one went to Gini and one went to Pascal. The objects in the parcels are linked to a political scandal surrounding former Senator now ambassador, John Hawthorne. I think the characters are well developed. Throughout the book, you are never quite sure if one of the characters is telling the truth or not to Gini and Pascal. Gini and Pascal have a past that eventually unfolds during the story. Gini was raised by her step-mother in England because her father ignored her; her step-mother and father were divorced. She always wanted to show him that she could do things – such as journalism. Pascal took pictures of war and now handles scandals as well. Both are thrown together after twelve years to cover a scandal. Can their past get in their way or cause a distraction?
One complaint I have of the book is the length. I think it could have been shortened down and still would have been good. At times, I felt like all the twists and turns (making not only the characters doubt themselves, but you as well) could have been condensed. I like twists and turns that keep the reader guessing. However, for the length of the book, it is a little much. The last part of the book definitely picked up pace and had more action. The book is labeled as “thriller” but I think it is more “mystery” instead. Thrillers tend to be a little more fast-paced throughout the book – at least the ones I have read.
I must admit that reading the book set in the 1990s I forgot how unavailable people could be without cells/mobiles. I had to stop myself a few times and say, “No, they can’t just call their cell phones. They don’t have any!”
Overall, it was a good book. If you like mystery romance novels with hints of scandal, then you might want to try this book.