Thursday, June 5

Flesh Tones - MJ Rose

Genny Haviland is on trial for murder - the prosecution say she killed her lover, legendary artist Slade Gabriel, to save her father's gallery. Genny admits she helped him die, but says it was his idea - tempestuous til the end, Gabriel couldn't stand the idea of fading away, consumed by Alzheimer's. As the trial unfolds Genny is taken back to her adolecence, that summer her art dealer parents were away and the sixteen year old girl was introduced to womanhood by the man who would consume her adult life.
Part mystery, part literary exercise, and unexpectedly locally topical for a book set '90s America, Flesh Tones had some promise but was a little flat for my tastes. None of the characters was strongly drawn or dynamic, the plot unfolded predictably, the dramatic final scene was massively anticlimactic, and the central conflict wasn't. Perhaps I need a little more colour, but I found this more beige toned than flesh. - Alex

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