Photographer Betsy Thornhill returns to New York city just after
the carnage of 11 September, appearing dramatically younger than
her 51 years. For Betsy, succumbing to vanity, has had a complete
facelift, emerging from beneath the scalpel looking like the
35-year-old she used to be. Her newfound beauty brings her into
contact with a disconcerting young man, Bobby Ketsen, who seems to
find her familiar and pesters her with constant demands to take her
to dinner. However, Betsy becomes embroiled in a baffling murder
case when Ketsen is found murdered at his studio and the police put
together a photo-fit image of Betsy's face, based on a witness
account. Still fragile and confused with the psychological effects
of her facial surgery, Betsy roams the streets of the traumatized
city, camera in hand, to discover her doppelganger and expose the
true killer. Using her rejuvenated good looks to gain information,
she discovers that she and Ketsen had more in common than she
thought. Her estranged daughter, Franny, who works as a volunteer
in some of the most dangerous places in the world, seems to have
been dangerously involved with him, and as Betsy digs deeper, she
finds that Bobby Ketsen was a very unsavoury character indeed. His
dealings with Franny may have given her an excellent motive for his
murder - and since Betsy's facelift, mother and daughter bear a
startling resemblance to each other.... This contemporary thriller
is a beautifully written portrait of a woman and a city who have
both suffered structural and emotional damage. In a world made
suddenly more dangerous, Betsy's vulnerability is a perceptive
reflection of the American psyche in the 21st century. Nadelson's
atmospheric descriptions of food and environment are a brilliant
backdrop for her eccentric characters and her confused heroine. The
intriguing plot twists add to a great novel that will instantly
transport you to the streets of New York. (Kirkus UK)
'You were some dish', says Betsy Thornhill's boyfriend seeing an
old photograph of her. A casual remark, but Betsy, a fifty-year-old
American living in London, finds herself looking in the mirror.
Conscious, for the first time in her life, of age. A food
photographer, she sees the implicit rot not just in the fruit and
cheese and lobsters she takes pictures of, but in her own flesh.
She goes in for a 'little work' on her face and comes out looking
marvellous. Younger by fifteen years. Younger than she could have
imagined. License to start again. She goes back to New York where
she has not lived for thirty years, to a city traumatized by the
aftermath of September 11, its own flesh ripped up. A few days
after she arrives, Betsy is accused of murder. She looks at the
police sketch. 'It isn't me', she says. 'It's someone younger'.
'Look in the mirror', says the cop. Betsy is trapped by her own
face. This begins a Hitchockian tale of mistaken identity, a
gripping tale of food, death and sex, of youth and age. If I'm
thirty-five, Betsy wonders, who am I? What are the markers in my
life? As she searches for the real killer in a city drowning in the
worst snowstorm in years, she stumbles through her own past which
leads her to a terrifying, heartbreaking conclusion.
Faber and Faber
|Country of origin:
||210 x 160mm (L x W)
Genre fiction >
Crime & mystery >
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