Frank Delaney displays his storytelling skills at their most elegant and compelling in this twisting psychological thriller featuring Nicholas Newman, the hero of the acclaimed Pearl and The Amethysts.
At Ruby’s is the third of Frank Delaney’s ‘Newman’ novels. After The Amethysts and Pearl, Nicholas Newman, the architect narrator, once again faces violent moral difficulty.
Newman has married Claire, younger than him, frail and beautiful but with a dangerous history. Passionately, watchfully in love with her, he struggles to tell her of his feelings. Claire feels destabilized by her jealousy of the women he has known – notably Ruby Hamer, the Belgravia nightclub owner, a lover from Newman’s former, wilder life.
Ruby now exhibits a claim to Newman that he regrets and she draws him into something deeper and worse than he has yet known. Meanwhile, a boardroom row provokes an unsolved murder, and Newman finds his client, the enigmatic and vicious Richard Strafe, involved in evil that comes straight from today’s headlines.
Like all Delaney’s novels, At Ruby’s rests on several layers: a thriller with profound themes; a contemporary novel with (sometimes playful) homage to the mood of the nineteen-thirties spy-and-cabaret writers; a love story full of desperate, touching passion – and a compelling read that becomes impossible to put down, with twists to the last paragraph. Absorbing, passionate and riven with tension, the novel punches with blinding force as Newman is forced by shock after shock into a vortex of choices that determine his bravery – or his cowardice.
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‘Effortlessly hooks the reader. This mix of John Fowles-cum-Ian McEwan turns flammable.’ Guardian, on The Amethysts
‘A psychological thriller as harrowing as it is absorbing… powerful, almost poetic prose style… always intense, emotional and uninhibited. This novel may prove unforgettable.’ Sunday Telegraph, on The Amethysts
‘The build-up of menace is deft and convincing… something exceptional and utterly gripping.’ Daily Telegraph, on Pearl
‘Delaney has skilfully concocted a blend of adventure thriller and psychological mystery.’ The Times, on PearlFrom the Back Cover:
Frank Delaney’s ‘Newman’ novels have been described as a ‘flammable mixture of John Fowles and Ian McEwan’. They are absorbing, passionate and riven with tension, with plots as sharp as tomorrow’s headlines.
In At Ruby’s, the wealthy and fashionable architect Nicholas Newman is again embroiled against his will in events beyond his control. The story opens in the boardroom of a company of which he is a director. He looks on as the chairman, Richard Strafe, a charismatic, aggressive man, ruthlessly faces down a mysterious challenge from another director. That night violence breaks loose, and though Newman tries to avoid being drawn into it, he fails. At the same time, his own office – and home – erupt when he agrees to design the new nightclub for the celebrated Belgravia madam, Ruby Hamer. He has known Ruby from his former, wilder life, and she feels an entitlement to Newman which he now regrets. These difficulties soon meet as Strafe and Ruby, in different ways, threaten Newman’s new and fragile marriage.
The novel twists and turns to the very last paragraph as Newman, the man who has everything except contentment, tries to resolve the ambiguities of his life by facing the moral horrors of the past.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110002261960
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, 2001. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2261960