Next of Kin

Next of Kin

Book - 2008
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John Boyne has been heralded as "one of the most imaginative and adventurous of the young Irish novelists working today" by the Irish Independent . He achieved bestseller status and won numerous awards worldwide for The Boy in the Striped Pajamas.  Now in Next of Kin, he steps into the drawing rooms and private clubs of the prewar English aristocracy to offer an unobstructed view of a social elite driven by the conflicting desires to uphold tradition and to acquire vast wealth.

It is 1936, and London is abuzz with gossip about the affair between Edward VIII and Mrs. Simpson. But the king is not the only member of the aristocracy with a hard decision to make. Owen Montignac, the handsome and charismatic scion of a wealthy family, is anxiously awaiting the reading of his late uncle's will, for Owen has run up huge gambling debts and casino boss Nicholas Delfy has given him a choice: Find 50,000 pounds by Christmas or find yourself six feet under. So when Owen discovers that he has been cut out of the will in favor of his cousin Stella, he finds that even a royal crisis can provide the means for profit, and for murder.

Next of Kin  vividly captures the spirit of 1930s London, revealing the secrets of the upperclass, complete with gambling, murder, an art heist, and a conspiracy to unseat the new king that could change the future of the country.

 

Publisher: New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, 2008
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312357979
0312357974
Branch Call Number: FICTION BOYNE
Characteristics: 362 p. ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: Next of kin : a novel

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brianreynolds Dec 12, 2016

Boyne has a lesson to teach so many other authors of “Historical Fiction.” To begin, he omits the lovingly crafted Acknowledgement wherein research and footnotes bear testament to the “truth” of things. On the cover he calls it a novel and it actually is one with characters that are free to flex their muscles as they rise and fall through a real plot. And best of all he preaches nothing but the truth of human behaviour played out in a particular historical time; he tells a story, a breathing tale with its own sense of direction, its own honesty and flavour. Next of Kin is so much more than what I’ve come to expect from this sad genre: big names, authentic events, imagined thoughts and canned conversations. It is the story of inheritance, the passing of wealth and power from one generation to the next, gone wrong. It is the story of principle versus pragmatism. It is the story of the hubris of king makers and king breakers constumed as gangsters and parents and barristers and frauds. It is a tale of love both pure and poisoned. Shakespeare would have written it in verse. This is so much more than a mere crime novel (unless you think Macbeth could be described that way. It was a joy to read on every page.

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