Deeds

Joseph Amiel, Author Atheneum Books $19.95 (500p) ISBN 978-0-689-11862-3
In a dramatic novel filled with memorable characters, Amiel (Birthright) skillfully depicts the frenetic, high-stakes world of Ralph Behr, a Manhattan real estate developer. Unbridled ambition brings Ralph to the pinnacle of his profession at age 36, yet many detest his brashness, conceit, materialism and obsession with self-gratification. To ensure his immortality, he plans to erect three 150-story towers called Behr Center in New York City. Just as the controversial project gets under way, Ralph's father, Henry, an aging real estate tycoon, tells his son some astounding news. Twenty years ago, Henry's partner, Abe Weintraub, committed fraud and went to prison. Abe threatened to implicate Henry unless he agreed to surrender half the Behr fortune to the Weintraubs upon Abe's release. Henry commands Ralph to wed Abe's daughter, Gail, to make the impending $100 million transfer less conspicuous. The union turns out to be acrimonious, for Gail, an impassioned champion of the rights of battered women, loathes the egotistical rich in whose company she finds herself. While placating his spirited bride, Ralph dodges mounting opposition to Behr Center, where a catastrophe occurs that radically changes his life. Amiel expertly portrays these complex, volatile individuals, and the unexpected love that eventually binds Ralph and Gail. Saratoga and other playgrounds of the affluent are colorfully depicted, as is the milieu of New York's glitterati. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; Troll Book Club main selection. (January 25)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
Mass Market Paperbound - 978-0-449-14522-7
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