THE DEVIL YOU KNOW by Louise Bagshawe


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A prince, a gypsy, a scandal, billions of dollars . . . and, oh, yeah, triplet sisters separated at birth.

Cheesy melodrama from the author of several just as shameless (For All the Wrong Reasons, 2002, etc.), featuring cardboard characters experiencing actual human emotions such as envy, lust, greed, and more! Able to leap entire continents in a single bound! Bold as a brass ashtray and just as tacky! To begin: after WWII, the blue-blooded Parigis of Italy don’t even have the lire to fix up their crumbling palazzo, let alone lord it over the local paisans. But second son Cosimo, an industrious type, doesn’t look down on work and makes bigga buckses in various enterprises, infuriating his jealous older brother and his lazy nephew Roberto. Years go by. Resentments seethe. Once grown, Roberto plans to murder his cousin Luigi, rape and kill his gypsy wife, burn down his mansion, and get all the money. But the gypsy, a spitfire with she-wolf eyes, curses Roberto: he’s doomed unless he promises to save her newborn daughters. It’s enough to make a deranged arsonist-killer-rapist lose his, ah, manhood, but when his rivals are safely dispatched, he does hand the babies over to an international baby-selling ring. Rose is adopted by a hard-working couple who own a deli in Hell’s Kitchen, Poppy by a rich Jewish lawyer and his wife in Los Angeles, while Daisy somehow winds up in England. Years go by. Rose gets an education and a real estate license—and learns a lot from sexy but down-to-earth Jacob Rothstein, scion of a New York real estate dynasty. Poppy likes to party, but being a punk rock groupie soon palls, and she moves into the management side of the music biz, eventually bedding her very own congressman. Daisy, plump and bookish, becomes a bestselling writer. Soon, the three find they’re related, born as the contessas C., rightful heirs to an immense fortune. Is Roberto still alive? It’s payback time, fella.

Formulaic glitz, generally lifeless.

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-27305-3
Page count: 400pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 2003


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