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Product details

  • Hardback | 384 pages
  • United Kingdom
  • 0747201013
  • 9780747201014

Review Text

From the pseudonymous Harvey, a glittery first novel - about a Beverly Hills women-only brothel - that promises a great deal more than it delivers. In the 1950's, skinny, ugly, dirt-poor Rachel Dwyer, 14, runs away from her family's New Mexico trailer to escape her lecherous father's drunken advances. Down and out, she hooks up and falls in love with Danny Mackay, a cute Texan boy who's a few years older - and who turns out to be a monster: a pimp who brands her with a butterfly tattoo, forces her into a whorehouse, and then takes her for a disastrous abortion (she nearly dies and is forever sterile) after she becomes pregnant with his child in a pitiful attempt to force him to marry her. Naturally, all Rachel can think of is revenge. She escapes to Beverly Hills, where, as the years pass, she becomes an extremely successful businesswoman who just happens to run a highly private brothel (Butterfly) for women who want to act out their fantasies in stage settings with willing young men who - Harvey's feeble nod to AIDS - "quietly and discreetly" slip on condoms at just the right moment. By this time, Rachel has changed her name, undergone plastic surgery to become drop-dead gorgeous, and is the main backer of the born-again, fire-and-brimstone-spouting preacher who bids fair to become the next President of the United States - none other than ol' Danny Mackay, ostensibly reformed, but in fact meaner than ever (and whose ultimate downfall will be staged by Rachel in the convenient setting of Butterfly). Slick, but finally unsatisfying. Unfortunately, the customers at Butterfly have extremely boring little fantasies (dashing Confederate officers, Casablanca, rough-and-ready cowboys) that don't live up to the titillation level of the premise. And Harvey telegraphs the revenge plot a mile away. (Kirkus Reviews)show more