On a hike during a white-hot summer break on the Greek island of Hydra, Naomi and Samantha make a startling discovery: a man named Faoud, sleeping heavily, exposed to the elements, but still alive. Naomi, the daughter of a wealthy British art collector who has owned a villa in the exclusive hills for decades, convinces Sam, a younger American woman on vacation with her family, to help this stranger. As the two women learn more about the man, a migrant from Syria and a casualty of the crisis raging across the Aegean sea, their own burgeoning friendship intensifies, and when a simple plan of revenge goes horrifically wrong, Faoud must go on the run while the women come to terms with the terrible consequences they have set in motion.
Beautiful Animals by Lawrence Osborne
Publication Date: July 18, 2017 by Hogarth Press
Part of what makes Osborne’s novels so enthralling is his writing style. Perhaps it’s because of his own life experiences and travels that his descriptions of countries that I have not yet visited are vivid enough to make me feel like I am already there. This was very much the case for Hunters in the Dark and Beautiful Animals is no exception.
Much like Hunters in the Dark, Beautiful Animals is suspenseful and smart with its “cat and mouse” plot and complicated characters. Osborne smoothly combines a luscious, exotic landscape with a thrilling crime story that is reminiscent of Patricia Highsmith’s Talented Mr. Ripley series.
What beautiful animals we are, Sam thought, beautiful as panthers.
Naomi is certainly the focal point of the novel and it’s both fascinating and disturbing to see how she influences not only Sam, but everyone else around her as well. Her wish to “help” Faoud is questionable at best and it is clear as the story progresses that Naomi’s ability to manipulate everyone around her is what triggers all the events that come after this initial task. What makes the story even more stunning is that Osborne never truly reveals Naomi’s character so the reader is left to feel uncomfortable in determining her motives throughout the book.
Beautiful Animals is such an intelligent crime thriller that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a complicated plot as much as they enjoy a character study!
I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.