Author(s): Barbara Vine
It's late spring of 1990 and a love affair is flourishing: between Ivor Tesham, a thirty-three year old rising star of Margaret Thatcher's Conservative government, and Hebe Furnal, a stunning North London housewife stuck in a dull marriage. What excitement Hebe lacks at home, however, is amply compensated for by the well-bred and intensely attractive Tesham - an ardent womanizer and ambitious politican. On the eve of her twenty-eighth birthday, Tesham decides to give Hebe a present to remember: something far more memorable than, say, the costly string of pearls he's already lavished upon her.Involving a fashionable new practice known as 'adventure sex', a man arranges for his unsuspecting but otherwise willing girlfriend to be snatched from the street, bound and gagged, and delivered to him at a mutually agreed venue ...Set amidst an age of IRA bombings, the first Gulf War, and sleazy politics, "The Birthday Present" is the gripping story of a fall from grace, and of a man who carries within him all the hypocrisy, greed and self-obsession of a troubled era.
The Rendell/Vine partnership has for years been producing consistently better work than most Booker winners put together Ian Rankin Barbara Vine is Ruth Rendell letting rip Daily Telegraph A superb and original writer Amanda Craig, Express
Barbara Vine is the pen-name of Ruth Rendell. Viking have published her twelve previous novels, including A Dark Adapted Eye, which won the Crime Writers Association Gold Dagger Award, and more recently Grasshopper, The Blood Doctor and The Minotaur. Barbara Vine is widely regarded as the pre-eminent crime novelist of her generation. Ruth Rendell sits in the House of Lords as a Labour peer. She lives in Maida Vale, London.