Review of Deadly Sins, a novel by Nicholas Coleridge.
I am reviewing the paperback version of this book, published by Orion Books, cover price £6.99, 563 pages, genre:- Modern Fiction.
Miles Straker is a man who has everything, he is the head of a successful PR company, he has a society wife, Davina and four presentable children. Miles' homes are a mansion in West London and a beautiful country house, Chawbury Manor, in Hampshire.
The story opens at a massive lunch party at Chawbury Manor. The lunch is an annual event, the highlight of the local social calendar. Miles makes sure that everyone who is anyone is present. One of the most important accounts Miles deals with is that of a major supermarket chain, Pendletons. He is delighted to have Lord Pendleton, the owner of the group, at his party.
The Straker's home and land dominate the landscape, they own everything as far as the eye can see, apart from a semi derelict cottage on a run down small holding, belonging to an elderly gentleman called Silas. During the party, Miles notices a couple of Land Rovers high on the ridge near Silas' property. Curiosity gets the better of Miles and when his guests have gone, he goes to investigate.
To his horror, Miles finds that Silas has died and his property has been sold. Miles is furious as he had wanted the land and had agreed with the owner that he could have first refusal, should the land become available.
The new owner is Ross Clegg, the multimillionaire owner of Freeza-Mart, a frozen food chain. Ross Clegg tells Miles that he intends bulldozing the cottage and small holding and building a new house for his family. The Clegg family are not the type of people Miles wants living near him. They hail from Droitwich, in the Midlands and as far as Miles Straker is concerned, they are scum.
Miles is used to life running to his requirements. He is an autocratic person, he demands everything to be just as he wants it, both in his business and his home life. His fury at being done out of the land he wanted, is so intense, that he resolves to make sure the Cleggs are unable to build their home.
Miles' fury descends into envy, greed and pure evil as the plot unfolds. His bitterness towards the affable, down to earth Ross Clegg becomes the focus of his life. He stops at nothing to achieve his goal, even attempting to blacken the Freeza-Mart name and orchestrates a take over bid for the company by Pendletons, using his friendship with Lord Pendleton to his own ends.
As events unfold, Miles Straker's actions start to have a devastating effect on both Ross Clegg's family and his own. The unthinkable happens, Archie Straker gets Gemma Clegg pregnant, added to a budding friendship between teenage girls, Mollie Straker and Debbie Clegg, Miles has to up his game.
Will Miles Straker be thwarted or successful in his attempts to undermine and ruin Ross Clegg?
To find out you will need to read the book!
**My Thoughts and Conclusion**
Deadly Sins is the first novel I have read by Nicholas Coleridge, so I had no preconceived ideas or expectations from the book. I found the writing to be sharp and witty, the dialogue is crisp and the author has a remarkable talent for building up a good storyline.
The characterisation is second to none and I found myself becoming totally absorbed in the story line, even staying up until 3 am in order to finish the novel!
The author's portrayal of the psychopathic Miles Straker was totally believable, the man came over as a social shark, a person who was pleasant and sociable, all the time you were of use to him, but someone who would chew you up and spit you out, the second you stepped out of line. The character had a vindictive, spiteful streak, he was petty minded and pedantic and had absolutely no scruples whatsoever. A really nasty character who I should hate to meet in real life!
In contrast, the second main character, Ross Clegg, was totally different. Clegg was a kind, thoughtful, 'salt of the earth' type of man. He lived for his family and took a pride in both them and the business he and his wife Dawn had built up from nothing. As the wrangling and unpleasantness Miles Straker put the Clegg family through, turned their world upside down affecting each and every member of both the families, I found myself really caring what happened to them.
This is a book with a moral in the tale, a story of good versus evil and a family saga, all rolled into one eminently readable novel. In my opinion, it is a novel that grips the reader and involves you from the first page to the last.
I thoroughly enjoyed Deadly Sins and would recommend it to others.
Thank you for reading
©brittle1906 October 2011
N.B. My reviews may be found on other sites under the same user name.