Vincenzi's lyrical storytelling quickly envelops the reader in this lengthy, yet highly satisfying, novel. The main protagonists, Octavia and Tom Fleming, are superbly developed characters, and the glamour and tragedies of their lives are highlighted in this no-holds-barred book, complete with passion, infidelity and villainy.

In 1997 London, Octavia and Tom Fleming appear to be the perfect power couple. They have three perfect children and a dependable nanny. But when Octavia discovers a handkerchief that doesn't belong to anyone in her household, she believes that Tom is having an affair. She asks for a divorce and starts dating a local politician.

Tom's marketing firm is soon on the verge of bankruptcy, since Octavia's father is determined to destroy Tom for hurting his daughter. When Octavia finally learns the identity of Tom's mistress, the novel takes on a more sinister tone, as the mistress has a secret of her own. (Overlook, Nov., 627 pp., $26.95)
Reviewed by: 
Sheri Melnick