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LOVERS AND LIARS by Sally Beauman

LOVERS AND LIARS

By Sally Beauman

Pub Date: May 1st, 1994
ISBN: 0-449-90880-1
Publisher: Ballantine

 From bestselling author Sally Beauman (Dark Angel, 1990; Destiny, 1987) comes this taut, smartly paced romantic thriller set in present-day London. Just after New Year's Day, a beautiful and exquisitely dressed young woman enters the main London office of Intercontinental Deliveries carrying four small parcels. The receptionist logs them in, preparing to send them to their various destinations in Paris, Venice, New York, and London. What the receptionist doesn't know is that each of these boxes contain's a pair of handcuffs and a woman's glove--a long black leather glove that smells strangely from some foul and feral substance. Within hours, two of the recipients--Pascal Lamartine, a Paris-based photographer, and Gini Hunter, a London-based reporter--are called to the editorial offices of Gini's newspaper and assigned to work on a sex-scandal story that concerns John Hawthorne, the handsome, charismatic American ambassador to Great Britain. Neither Gini nor Pascal immediately connects the strange packages with the assignment. They are too busy trying to gather clues about Hawthorne, a presidential hopeful with a ravishing wife named Lise, and trying to deal with the aftermath of their own short-lived but passionate affair in Beirut 12 years earlier. It seems that Hawthorne's fairy-tale marriage has begun to crumble: There are rumors of beautiful blonde call girls wearing long black gloves, secret trysts, violence. When Gini and Pascal learn of the gloves, they begin to connect the pieces and find themselves implicated in a dark, treacherous plot that involves sexual perversion, corruption, and murder. But this is only the beginning: As they continue to probe, they find that the story stretches farther back than they dreamed, to a tiny Vietnamese village called My Nuc, where unspeakable atrocities occurred. Beauman has written a sexy, nail-biting, page-turning thriller nicely spiced with just the right amounts of love and death. The erotic charge between Gini and Pascal--first denied, then succumbed to--is palpable and convincing, as is the compelling and morally ambiguous figure of John Hawthorne. (Book-of-the-Month dual selection for May)