Copyright © 1997. All Rights Reserved.
by Mary Flanagan
Bloomsbury, 291 pp.
Who do you trust the most in the whole world? Your lawyer? Yeah, right. Well, in Mary Flanagan's first novel, Trust, the lawyer is the only person who is worthy of such an offering. This is the story of the highly glamorous lives of art dealers and their attempts to swindle their livelihoods from the work of a desolate "purist" artist and from a lawyer, who is maintaining a trust fund for the artist's daughter.
Jason Englefield, the artist, is a prime target for disloyalty. He puts so much effort into not trusting anyone - dealers, potential buyers, his wife - that he sets himself up as a challenge. Not that everyone in the novel is that malicious. Although Jason's daughter, Clover, does deceive him, she does it in an innocent, adolescent kind of way. Besides Clover, pretty much everyone else is a tasty example of lechery.
Let me run this by you. Jason trusts his wife, Eleanor, who trusts the lawyer, Charles. Charles trusts alcohol. Jason trusts his daughter, Clover, who trusts Jason's dealer, Felix, whom Jason also trusts. Eleanor trusts Felix, too. Felix trusts his partner George. Jason trusts George as well. Jeremy, an investor, trusts his wife Monica, who trusts Jason and Felix. Really, this is not a grade one reader. (See Spot trust everyone). On the contrary, the set up is remarkable; the betrayal, scintillating; the plot, fascinating.
Mary Flanagan has created a tale of mystery, deception and romance. What could be better for a summer read?
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