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

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

Did she really write this boring book?

I find it hard to believe that Barbara Vine (Ruth Rendell) wrote this tedious, long-winded novel. Louche, vulgar, and pathetic are not adjectives I would ever think to apply to her work, but this story is all three. Contrasting this with THE MINOTAUR and many other excellent titles, this one feels as if it were outsourced to an underling. I found the story predictable and the narrators hard on the nerves. The book ends with every little detail explained, every loose end tied up, and some living all too happily ever after. Who reads this author for that kind of nonsense? If you haven't read her before, don't start here. And if you have, skip this title as it is likely to disappoint.
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- Die Falknerin

Book Details

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