- Hardcover: 334 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollins (1 July 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0061173703
- ISBN-13: 978-0061173707
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 2.9 x 22.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 499 g
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
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Mortal Friends Hardcover – 1 Jul 2009
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From the Back Cover
When the latest victim of the "Beltway Basher" is found in the woods of Montrose Park, Reven Lynch's favorite jogging spot, her crime-loving antenna goes up. The murder makes Reven and her best friend, Violet Bolton, reconsider their running routebut that's not the only change in Reven's routine. Her chic Georgetown neighborhood isn't accustomed to brutal slayings, and when the smooth, enigmatic Detective Gunner shows up in her antique shop, asking pointed questions, Reven's left wondering how close to home the killings are.
Gunner is convinced the murderer is a society bigshot hiding in plain sight. But he is out of his element in the rarefied world of embassy dinners and symphony balls, and Reven is perfectly positioned to feed him the inside information he needs. She throws herself into her role as the detective's "ersatz Mata Hari," only to discover that the prominent skirt-chasing businessman for whom she's fallen tops Gunner's shortlist of suspects. And that's not the half of it: a philanthropic bombshell named Cynthia Rinehart has taken the city by storm, and Violet's steady marriage is suddenly encountering some major turbulence. . . .
During the course of the investigation, the social world will unravel, an old friendship will be put to the test, scandalous secrets will be unleashed, and Reven will discover that nothing old or new, in high culture or low life, is what it appears. A riveting tale of murder, money, and high society, set in the glamorous, politics-fueled world of the nation's capital,Mortal Friends delivers another "killer read" (People).
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
This one is engaging, well-crafted and lively. Most of the main characters come to life easily and realistically, except Grant Bolton. He remained wooden and more of a caricature to me. I appreciate the first person main character Reven's honest voice and droll humor. She's loyal, loving, fun, sophisticated and down to earth. Her flaws are realistic and recognizable, making her a refreshing character.
Reven and best friend Violet have an enduring relationship that is believable and complex, both of which are key to the story. I'm not usually a fan of characters like Violet, but her childhood and ugly duckling - swan transformation shows a vulnerable and humorous person who is likable and believable. The contrasting backgrounds of both an ongoing serial killer investigation and the many exclusive, glitzy parties they attend are well wrought. Even the holes in the serial killer story arc are believable because of Reven's secretive relationship with Det. Gunner.
There are many moving parts to this clever story and Hitchcock unfortunately gives short shrift to some of them. A good many little details either didn't quite ring true or I felt would be better fleshed out:
-Reven's hopes for a real relationship with Bob Poll seemed off key.
-Although she spent a lot of time at her shop, it came across more as a plot device than a business. Her store could've leapt off the page, as her assistant did, but instead seemed more like dead weight.
-Violet's son seemed an afterthought, conveniently up at boarding school.
-I'd have loved to learn more about Reven's new assistant, Polo.
Hitchcock teased the readers with many other interesting characters and mini story arcs that don't pan out. If she'd spent less time on the glut of extraneous characters and parties, she could've then focused on Reven's store and characters such as Polo and Tee.
I also would've preferred an end focus on Violet's "lost years", rather than the abrupt ending. I'd love to see a sequel, where Gunner, Reven and Violet team up to solve a mystery, perhaps aided by Sen. Grider and Tee, the clever teenager. Why not? Social Crimes had a sequel!
I'm a fan of Hitchcock and thoroughly enjoyed this adventure, even with my criticisms. I hope to read more from her!
Hitchcock writes in the first person and the protagonist in her previous three books was a women "of a certain age", prominent in New York City society. Her adventures on the social scene in NYC were interestingly played out and Hitchcock is a master at defining the ins and outs of that segment of New York high society, ie. living on the UES and active on charity boards.
In her new book, Hitchcock has moved the scene to Washington DC. Her protagonist is a youngish, single woman, an owner of a Georgetown antiques store, who is active on the Washington DC social scene. Here, the merely wealthy businessmen and bankers are joined by politicians, lobbyists, and other characters unique to Washington DC. The story has a murder, several, actually, and Hitchcock gives the reader a great, and varied, supporting cast to Reven Lynch, her main character.
Hitchcock is a good writer - she really is - and Mortal Friends, like her four previous novels has an easy flow to it. You'll enjoy it.
I really liked the main character here, Reven Lynch, even if she was a little flighty at times (especially near the end). I thought numerous times I had everything figured out, only to be completely wrong! This is not at ALL a predictable, high society whodunit. There are a few mini-stories going on all at the same time, but it's never confusing or too much...who is Cynthia Rinehart, and how exactly does she spend her money? Is the Beltway Basher someone in the upper crust of society, and how does he choose his victims? Does Reven REALLY know the people who are closest to her?
Overall, I DEFINITELY recommend this. Ms. Hitchcock has a real knack for portraying an image of high society without making it seem silly and unrealistic. If you're at all interested in reading this, I say go for it, and when you've finished, pick up 'Social Crimes' and 'One Dangerous Lady', also excellent Hitchcock novels.