Criminals A Novel

Margot Livesey

Picador

0312424698

9780312424695

Trade Paperback

288 Pages

$18.00

CAD20.00

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Margot Livesey's Criminals is the story of adult brother and sister Ewan and Mollie and their decision to rescue an abandoned child. But is the child being rescued by these two, or abducted? Where is the line between moral and criminal behavior? What is the cost of good behavior? Livesey paints a portrait of two people blinded by need and the desire for betterment.

REVIEWS

Praise for Criminals

"A wonderful novel, impeccably written and thoroughly engrossing."—The New York Times Book Review
 
"Where do love, honesty, and responsibility intersect? . . . A provocative rumination on family and what it means to do the right thing."—Glamour

"Funny, suspenseful, and sometimes creepy."—Los Angeles Times

"One of the most surprising thrillers of the year—completely offbeat, unexpected, and unique. Margot Livesey is right up there in the realm of P. D. James."—Newsday
 
"A story of many kinds of love, indifference, secrecy, and blind selfishness that drives as fiercely to its surprising conclusion as any thriller."—Rosellen Brown
 
"[A] spellbinding new work. Splendidly realized characters—engaged in complex, very human dilemmas—inhabit the heart of a rich narrative. Beautifully written, this remarkably inventive fiction satisfies on all counts. An essential addition for fiction collections, by a masterful storyteller."—Booklist
 
"Livesey's feverishly paced tale, which ranges from Scotland to America to Italy, is recommended."—Library Journal
 
"'Banker finds Baby in Bus station' is the caption that uptight London bachelor Ewan Munro ruefully realizes will describe events in this intriguing novel about the banality of evil. Discovering a swaddled infant in a lavatory stall in Perth, Ewan almost absentmindedly takes the baby to his unstable sister, Mollie Lafferty, intending to call the authorities once he arrives at her home. Mollie is in a bad way; she has split with her novelist husband, anguished because he has fictionalized her in his current novel, and, she thinks, given away secrets she didn’t even realize she harbored. (Chunks of this novel are interpolated as Ewan reads it, adding tension to a narrative already taut with frightening implications.) For Mollie now recognizes that her great need is to have a child, and she conspires to keep the baby. Meanwhile, the child's feckless father, an amoral layabout called Kenneth, who has impetuously abandoned his daughter, realizes that he can extort money when he shows up to claim her; and her mother, a nurse from Bombay, becomes distraught at the infant's disappearance. Scottish-born Livesey (Homework) controls the narrative with assurance, gradually laying bare the bedrock of her characters' inner lives. One reads with fascinated attention as Ewan and Mollie—he preoccupied by a lapse in his meticulously moral behavior that has made him complicit in illegal trading; she sliding into emotional breakdown—discover how easy it is to become criminals. Livesey maintains a low-key style that perfectly matches the way ordinary lives can slip into chaos; her elegantly simple prose, her control of pacing and characterization and her insights into human behavior combine to produce a fascinating narrative."—Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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Margot Livesey is the author of five novels, including Homework and Eva Moves the Furniture, as well as the story collection Learning By Heart. Born in Scotland, she lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she is the writer in residence at Emerson College.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Margot Livesey

  • Margot Livesey is the author of five novels, including Homework and Eva Moves the Furniture, as well as the story collection Learning By Heart. Born in Scotland, she lives in Boston, Massachusetts, where she is a writer in residence at Emerson College.
  • Margot Livesey
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