- Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; Reissue edition (Aug. 1 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0446611808
- ISBN-13: 978-0446611800
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 3.2 x 17.8 cm
- Shipping Weight: 227 g
- Average Customer Review: 213 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Envy Mass Market Paperback – Jul 29 2002
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The prologue of a novel arrives in the Manhattan offices of a book editor, who's intrigued enough to chase its mysterious author, identified only by his initials, to his decrepit plantation on an island off the Georgia Coast. That's the first clue that fiction is stranger than fact; few publishers (if any) would go to that sort of trouble for anything less than a new J.D. Salinger novel. But bestselling author Sandra Brown makes the most of her far-fetched premise, setting up a convoluted plot that keeps the reader engrossed despite its flaws and foibles.
Maris Matherly-Reed is more than an editor. She's also the beloved daughter of the publishing house's highly respected and successful leader, and the wife of Matherly Press's second-in-command, the smooth, suave, double-dealing Noah Reed. Reed, it develops, is the real target of the literary scam set up by the reclusive writer of the novel whose opening pages so captivate Reed's spouse. P.M.E., the writer, has a score to settle with Maris's husband, and he doesn't care whom he hurts as long as he brings Noah down. At least, not until he meets Maris, who has an unfortunate habit of falling in love with her authors (see above; that's the second clue). Brown is a master at romantic suspense, and Envy displays the talents that have won her a devoted following: a deft hand at evoking the vulnerability and humanity of her protagonists, a sure command of narrative tension, and a nice sense of place. This is a terrific hammock read, just right for a summer day as sultry and humid as Envy's Low Country setting. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Publishers Weekly
Style and form are usually the least of prolific bestselling romance/thriller writer Brown's concerns, but in her latest effort she takes on an unusual challenge, setting out to craft a novel within a novel within a novel. The onion begins to peel when editor Maris Matherly-Reed plucks a prologue from the slush pile and finds herself hooked by the steamy prose. The author has furthermore titillated her by breaking the rules: no SASE, no cover letter. Maris knows only that his initials are P.M.E. and he lives on St. Anne Island in Georgia. (How does she know P.M.E. is a man? She... knows.) Gutsy, idealistic, deliciously sexy, Maris is married to philandering sociopath Noah Reed, who runs Matherly Press with Maris and her father, Daniel, last of the silver-maned gentleman publishers. As for P(arker) M(ackensie) E(vans), he's a bitter, wheelchair-bound, first-time novelist or is he? Is he using Maris to avenge himself against Noah, or does he love her madly or can the answer be all of the above? Cutting back and forth between the bernovel and Parker's autobiographical novel about a purloined novel, Brown stages one dramatic scene after another. The narrative voices don't change much (although the typefaces do), but Brown's loyal legions frankly won't give a damn. (Aug. 28) Forecast: Brown could probably write a novel in blank verse and still hit the bestseller lists, so her experimentation here (mild, in any case) won't throw readers. The book is a Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club main selection and a BOMC alternate, and major TV, radio and print media ad campaigns (plus New York transit ads) will blanket the country. Expect the expected: a blockbuster.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
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The story begins in a publishing house in New York where the owner's daughter, Maris Matherly-Reed, is an editor with an eye for a great story. She gets one in a partially written manuscript. The only problem is the author is only identified by three initials and has given a return address of a small Georgia-Coast island. This story has intrigued her enough that she discusses the writing with her father, Daniel. He encourages her to seek out the author and so she goes on a search to the island seeking this unknown author.
When Maris finds the author, Parker Evans, she is surprised to find him in a wheelchair. Getting him to finish writing the story takes all her skills as an editor or so she believes. Slowly, as she reads a chapter or two at a time, a story about two college roommates, each of whom wants to be the first published author starts to unfold. The more she reads, the more she begins to think this is not the fiction Parker tells her it is.
As Maris travels between the island and New York, she begins to find out things about her husband that distress her. Things like his adultery and she begins to wonder to whom she is really married. Her husband, Noah Reed is co-publisher in Matherly Press but has ambitions far beyond his present position. He is ruthless enough to do anything to get it and has a past that Maris knows nothing about. Slowly the pieces begin to fall into place and Maris discovers a love she thought she already had.
Right up to the very last paragraphs of the book, the reader thinks they know the ending but Ms. Brown has one more turn of events to give to the reader. ENVY is a book that not even the best sleuth will see the final ending until the final words have been listened to.
ENVY is what every aspiring romantic suspense writer should strive to achieve. Sandra Brown combines her obvious mastery of the English language with clever, make-me-sigh prose. Her character development is superb. The romance is not eye-rolling and the plot is crisp and page-turning. There are few best-selling authors who come close to her expertise in the writing craft.
ENVY kept me up until 3:00 AM on a Saturday night. At 10:30, I planned to put it down. Ha! How rare it is that I read a book that gives me such pleasure, more from plot than from romance -- though the romance was plenty satisfying. It should be no surprise that the lure was the work of Sandra Brown.
I won't waste words on a brief synopsis. If you want that, just read the other reviews. Just don't pay any attention to those that call it "predictable" or say the villain is "cruel" without "justification." Don't confuse predictable with a storyline so intriguing, it lulls you along. That you are thinking ahead is the intent. Furthermore, a villain with too much "justification" is not a villain. The profile of a killer is anything but "justified." A killer is inadequate psychologically, and that's exactly what you get in ENVY. Like I said; clever.
Congratulations to Sandra Brown. She deserves nothing but high praise for this manuscript.
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