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Dangerous Games

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Crosland’s Dangerous Games was sensibly planned to hit the bookshops last month and the beaches shortly afterward. Set in Washington, London, and New York, and aggressively, marketed as ”an explosive mix of sex, violence, and ruthless ambition, a dazzling blockbuster that brilliantly captures the world of the powerful and those who prey on them,” the novel, give or take an adjective or two, lives up to that tawdry promise. Georgie Chase, the main female character, is the editor of a successful New York-based newsweekly. Her husband, Hugo Carroll, is a powerful Washington political columnist. The couple are targeted by Jock Liddon, high-powered lobbyist, and Lisa, his employee and part-time mistress, for sexual and other favors. On the other side of the Atlantic, and loosely tied into this clumsily constructed plot, is a British cabinet minister about to embark on an equally ill-advised liaison. All of which would be fine if the writing were better, the characters less banal, and the sex less dull and depressing. Hardly a bargain at 20 bucks. C

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