Here’s the lowdown on how to write a super sleazy novel. First, you need exotic locations. It scarcely matters where, just as long as it’s a beautiful spot with ancient ruins or white beaches or cobblestone-covered streets; anything that makes the reader go aww. Second, you need glamourous characters. Men, women, they need to be incredibly fit and striking. Otherwise, they are not as worthy. Third, you need to incorporate a lot of sex. It could be straight sex, gay sex, ménage à trois sex; just as long as you fill many pages with it. And last but not least: don’t show, tell; meaning the reader never needs to interpret anything. All is spelled out for him/her in a strong narrative way. Well, in most cases anyway.
That, dear readers, sums up mostly what it’s like reading Nigel May’s latest novel (out now from Bookouture), the story of a bunch of jet-setters too wealthy to care about anything but themselves. When a hotel tycoon bites the dust, somebody cries out murder. Who’s the culprit? Is it his Lolita of a daughter who uses her body and wit to get what she wants? Is it his over the hill black wife who’s addicted to plastic surgery and has the hots for anything that moves? Or is it his business partner who’s into female undergarments and sexual favors? Those are just a smidge of the many people orbiting around this sexually-charged tale that reminds TV’s EMPIRE but with boxing gloves instead, since the setting this time is the prize ring. The author clearly has fun moving his fast-paced plot along as he juggles his characters adroitly, but as much enjoyable as the end-result is I must admit I would have liked him to slow it down a little just so he could let his people breathe. Get to know them a bit more before the bad shit happens, and believe me it does, many times over. Reason enough to say that LOVERS AND LIARS is far from being boring.
The novel starts out strong in the present day with the killing of Mr. Tycoon then stumbles somewhat when going back in time to focus, amongst other things, on Mr. Tycoon’s repetitive ruthless ways. It ultimately returns back to the present to finally reveal the identity of his murderer which—gasp, double gasp—this reviewer didn’t see coming. In between you get a lot of sightseeing; a lot of hot sex; plenty of action sequences and even some surprisingly touchy-feely moments (like the heartfelt exchange between Lolita and a hot DJ after the accidental death of a loved one). All in all, I say read LOVERS AND LIARS, especially if you’re into well-written sleaze. It may not be my favorite of his (that would be SCANDALOUS LIES) but the man still delivers. He’s not being hailed as the male Jackie Collins for nothing.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read this novel in exchange for an honest review.
Until next post—Martin