With over 46 New York Times bestsellers, Brown (The Alibi, 1999, etc. etc.) has few to envy among living authors, nor does the plot of Envy seem based on Brown’s shortfall in literary esteem. Her heroine, Maris Matherly-Reed, who heads a highly literary independent publishing house, receives in her slush pile a prologue to a novel she can’t refuse. The novel: Envy. And as Maris’s pursuit of the slippery author speeds on, we are given additional chapters of Envy as they are being written by Parker Evans, a Georgia island recluse, secretly the bestselling author Mackensie Roone. As it happens, Maris has married Noah Reed, the one-book author of the celebrated The Vanquished, a book actually written and completed by Parker whom Noah let drown at sea. Or so Noah thought. Now Parker tells the true story of Noah’s attempted murder, sucking in Maris chapter by chapter when she comes down to Parker’s lonely island to urge him on.
Harmless bedtime stimulant. Not The Aspern Papers.