SCARLET ANGEL by Elizabeth Palmer

SCARLET ANGEL

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 An English country manor is nearly consumed by a naughty adventuress from Rome--in this classic British melodrama's entertaining depiction of lust and greed. George Marchant, a wealthy British businessman and a pleasant if hardly stimulating fellow, suspects nothing of the trouble he's invited when he proposes marriage to Camilla Vane after a tumultuous love affair in Rome. Sleek, beautiful, 34-year-old Camilla is an adventuress from way back whose aim is to secure enough money to fuel her carefree, hyper-amorous European life. She waits until after the wedding, therefore, to inform George that she has a ten-year-old son stashed away in boarding school--and that instead of a dowry she brings a mountain of debts. George rallies with a shock of his own: His father has recently died and left the family seat to George, who intends to take up residence there. Forced to vacate Rome for the frumpy English countryside, resentful Camilla tries to make her stay bearable by toying with the lives of George's relatives: his twin brothers, Marcus and Tom; Marcus's wife, Diana, who--Camilla instantly intuits--is also Tom's lover; and George's mother, Sarah, who observes Camilla's mischief with an alarmed and wary eye. Seducing, offending, and lying to each in-law in turn, Camilla gets serious after George dies of a heart attack (the result of catching Tom in bed with his pregnant wife), her own heart pounding at the thought of winning the entire estate for herself. But Camilla has underestimated the other Marchants, who have admittedly proved themselves unusually weak-willed, selfish and short-sighted so far. With the future of the dynasty lying in the balance, the Marchants will unite as one against the interloper.... In the deliciously deadpan, confidential tone of an avid gossip, Palmer gives us a world in which the evil are very, very bad, and the good often betrayed by their own timidity. (First printing of 50,000)

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 1993
ISBN: 0-312-09917-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 1993




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