Lewis and Clark Valley News

Jet-Setting Vacationers Find Trouble In Paradise In 'Beautiful Animals'

It’s that time of year when you hear talk of “summer reading,” a term that refers to books that are fun and undemanding — you know, the perfect accompaniment to lying on the beach. Such books heighten the airy sense of irresponsibility that comes with escaping the gravity of our lives back home. That weightlessness is at the core of Beautiful Animals , a seductively menacing new thriller by Lawrence Osborne, a Bangkok-based English writer who unites Graham Greene ‘s fondness for foreign soil with Patricia Highsmith’s fascination with the nastier coils of the human psyche. Set on the jet-setty Greek island of Hydra, this new novel offers all the glamorous pleasures of a vacation page-turner — you never know where it’s heading. But it has things on its mind. The story begins with Naomi, a disgraced British lawyer in her late 20s who’s spending the summer at the fancy vacation home of her father, an art collector whose values she disdains, though not enough to stop living off his money.

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