‘Seductive, decadent, cruel and utterly thrilling – just like Horace Lavelle himself. This is The Talented Mr Ripley for the twenty-first century.’ Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths
When Benjamin and Edgar Bowen embark on a Grand Tour of Europe, they are ready to meet People of Quality. They have trunks full of powdered silver wigs and matching suits, a hunger to experience the architectural wonders of Ancient Rome and an ability to quote Voltaire (at length). They will make connections and establish themselves in high society, just as their mother has planned.
But it soon becomes apparent that their outfits are not quite the right shade of grey, their smiles are too ready, their appreciation of the arts ridiculous. Class, they learn, is not something that can be studied.
Benjamin’s true education begins when he meets Horace Lavelle. Beautiful, charismatic, seductive, Lavelle delights in skewering the pretensions and prejudices of their milieu. He consumes Benjamin’s every thought.
Love can transform a person. Can it save them?
HERE ARE MY THOUGHTS AND REVIEW
Every mother wants the best for her children and Rachel is no exception. Benjamin and Edgar Bowen are brothers that have been educated at home, dressed identically all their lives and coached to blend into the high society of Europe. The year is 1793 and when they arrive in France they all their education does is show them just how little they do know. Class cannot simply be learnt.
The brothers have been each other’s best friend all their lives until now. The appearance of Mr Horace Lavelle is like a magnet that has an irresistible magnetism for Benjamin while he repels Edgar. Edgar the dutiful son writes to his mother regularly telling her how they have been accepted while feeling very miserable.
Things go from bad to worse when their families past becomes gossip. The two brothers are definitely the talk of the town but not in the way they were intended to be. Mr Lavelle loves to shock, loves the attention, he is colourful, witty and charming and awakens feelings in Benjamin that are extremely dangerous.
This is a story of everything from stigma, to love, to tragedy, it is a whirlwind of desire and at times it is heartbreaking. Mr Horace Lavelle is a vessel of colour and daring but all the characters are beautifully portrayed in the story, so distinctive and unforgettable.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly
HERE, IS A LITTLE ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Neil Blackmore never had any intention of becoming a writer. He wrote his first novel at work to fill time at a boring job. He published his first novel in his twenties but then spent most of his thirties travelling the world. THE INTOXICATING MR LAVELLE is his third novel. He lives in London.