Dibdin's fifth novel (The Tryst, 1990, etc.) combines sex and
violence in hilarious and appalling ways as narrator Tim - a poor
but well-educated language-school instructor - jockeys for position
among the academics and the "right sort" at Oxford. Tim's affair
with Karen begins at a dinner party - in the kitchen, while her
husband Denny is pontificating at the dining-room table. As their
lusty bouts heat up, the notion of dispatching Denny pops up - and
soon he's clone away with on a drunken sail. In clue course, Tim
and Karen marry, and Tim settles in to enjoy Denny's house, wife,
and wealth. Then, however, Karen accepts Clive (Tim's archenemy) as
her new lover, leaving Tim to moon over near-perfect Oxford woman
Alison and to arrange a mishap for Karen, with Clive as the
scapegoat. Will Tim get away with it? Almost, but his misreading of
Alison's devotion leads to a comeuppance - of sorts. A jaunty,
cynical sendup of the British class system, "perfect" marriages,
and expediency as a personal leitmotif. A comedy about immorality
that'll make you cringe. (Kirkus Reviews)
Karen and I on the sofa, Karen and I in the back seat of the BMW,
Karen and I at the river, up the alley, down the garden, round the
corner, in the pub. Our movements are furtive, frantic and
compulsive. Our pleasures are brief and incomplete. Our
frustrations are enormous. Because if you look closely at the
background of every scene, you'll see Dennis. Dennis and Karen lead
a pleasant life in North Oxford until the day one of their dinner
guests seduces Karen in the kitchen, setting in motion a chain of
events which will destroy the thin veneer of their respectability
and lead to ruthless murder. Dirty Tricks is a brilliant thriller
set in contemporary Oxford: a gripping story of sex, ambition and
violence with a wickedly humorous twist. If you enjoyed Dirty
Tricks you may also like A Rich Full Death, another crime novel by
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