cover image Just My Luck

Just My Luck

Adele Parks. Mira, $17.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7783-3173-5

This exhilarating, shrewdly observed tale about morality and greed from Parks (Lies, Lies, Lies) focuses on three English couples. Lexi Greenwood and her husband, Jake, who live with their two children in Little Chester, scrape by on their modest earnings. For 15 years, Lexi and Jake have gotten together every week with Peter and Carla Pearson and Fred and Jennifer Heathcote, who live in posh Great Chester, for dinner and their group-flutter on the National Lottery. Year in and year out, they have played and lost. One fateful evening, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes declare the lottery is for losers and they will no longer take part. Out of habit the following week, Lexi buys a ticket and plays their regular numbers, winning £17.8 million. The other couples feel they deserve a share. The ensuing lawsuits, double-dealing, secret trysts, and fistfights devolve into cruelty, kidnapping, and fraud. Elegant, quietly witty prose helps speed along the twisty plot. Anyone who thinks winning the lottery Those curious about the downside of winning it big will be entertained. Agent: Jonny Geller, Curtis Brown (U.K.). (Apr.)