The Birthday Present

  • by Barbara Vine
  • Narrated by Ruth Sillers, Paul Blake
  • 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ivor Tesham is a handsome, single, young Member of Parliament whose political star is on the rise. When he meets a woman in a chance encounter–a beautiful, married woman named Hebe–the two become lovers, obsessed with their illicit and adventurous trysts. But when Ivor plans for a surprise daring sexual adventure as a birthday present for Hebe, things take a disastrous turn it's late spring of 1990 and a love affair is flourishing: between Ivor, a rising star of the Conservative government, and Hebe, a stunning North London housewife stuck in a dull marriage. On the eve of her birthday, Ivor gives Hebe a present to remember: a mock-kidnapping in which she is to be snatched from the street, bound and gagged, and then delivered to him. It’s all intended as mock-dangerous foreplay, but then things take a disastrous turn. After an accidental death, Ivor begins to receive anonymous letters that reveal shockingly specific details about the affair and its aftermath. Somehow he must keep his role from being uncovered–and his political future from being destroyed by scandal.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Social Crime

A very British theme ... a gentleman must do what a gentleman must do. A landed gentry politician with 'out of the norm' sexual preferences is plagued throughout his career by an 'accident' which would expose him if it were ever examined closely. We follow his anxiety through the eyes of his brother-in-law and through the eyes of his dead lover's bridesmaid. The brother-in-law is super conservative and unexceptional. The bridesmaid is ... unstable. Crime plays a very small part in the whole story. Insinuation and assumption play very large parts. Different, but absorbing and told by a master story teller. The narrators are to be applauded.
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- Lesley

Atypical Vine

I have always read or listened to any new book by Barbara Vine that appears. Her best books can make me shiver in recollection even years later. This is the first that I've found boring. There are two narrators, neither of them likable, and I found it hard to suspend my disbelief in the plot, which seemed to drag on. Nor could I care about the off-putting central character. A disappointment.
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- Quahog

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-21-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios