Liquid Desires: An Urbino Macintyre Mystery

Edward Sklepowich, Author William Morrow & Company $22 (315p) ISBN 978-0-688-11165-6
While Sklepowich's latest crime novel set in Venice teems with intrigue and atmosphere, it is lamentably lacking such crime fiction staples as plot and suspense. As in Death in a Serene City and Farewell to the Flesh , murder visits the rarefied social strata inhabited by American expatriate writer Urbino Macintyre and his close friend, the Contessa da Capo-Zendrini. Dark events conspire to interrupt the flow of their sophisticated pontifications: a young woman is raped and murdered, another slashes a valuable portrait and demands an audience with the Contessa. When the enigmatic Flavia Brollo appears, claiming to be the illegitimate daughter of the Contessa's late, adored husband, Urbino begins to investigate the life of this clearly unhappy girl. He finds a misshapen family tree and some hints of possible drug use just before Flavia's body is pulled from a canal--with three quarters of the book still remaining. By this time, though, many readers' patience will be nearly exhausted and unlikely to be restored by the surfeit of artistic aunts, uncles, fathers and other aesthetes the author throws their way. Light relief does come in the form of Urbino's blustering ex-brother-in-law, intent both on buying art and on bringing Macintyre and his former wife back together. Although sometimes charming, this deliberately mannered book is overlong and underplotted. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/03/1993
Release date: 05/01/1993
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-380-72150-4
Open Ebook - 488 pages - 978-1-78408-979-5
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