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This novel left me entirely in awe The complexity of the plot, the depths of the characters, and the beautiful use of language, themes, and imagery absolutely captivated me The story itself was a gorgeously crafted labyrinth that sprawled through obsession, jealousy, self examination, self denial, beauty, and art Each path of the different plot elements flowed seamlessly into one another yet still retained enough of their own uniqueness that none of them felt over used or repetitive I loathe to go into too much detail of the plot itself because this is a story that retains an eerie beauty in it s dark secrets Ryder is obviously a master when it comes to words This is an ambitious novel and to write with less than exceptional prose would have marred it to a mediocre standard Instead, she managed to elevate it and add much depth and intrigue with just her style alone I really feel at a loss right now to properly express how much I love this novel It s so rich with the exploration of the meaning of art, of objectification, of beauty, of obsession So closely woven together with the meaning of truth and lies, of psychology, of human relationships, of mistakes and consequences I could see myself happily writing a paper exploring any one of these topics and based off of this novel. This is one for those who like a little thinking with their suspense It is a literary commercial crossover book which just means that it s a page turned filled with characters that have been fleshed out to the point where you get to know them, and they stay with you long after you finish the book.Filled with interesting characters, plots twists, and even out loud moments where you go, OMG I love it when a book can do that to me There are tons of great reviews out there for In Malice, Quite Close I won t rehash the obvious I ll just give this one two thumbs way up And I ll keep an eye on the Bestsellers lists, because I m sure we ll see it there soon enough. I don t even know how to review this book It is multi layered and not straight forward in any way Ultimately, I believe the author is using the complex characters in the book to dispel the idea of truth being the only reality when truth does not necessarily exist except in the mind of the interpreter It is a disturbing story that is artfully told I honestly could not put the book down In fact, like art, interpretation is very personal and represents a culmination of a person s experiences Kind of like a Rorschach test only using than ink blots The twists and turns the book takes was intriguing and the at last dizzying when coming so fast As one character points out, humans love riddles and will obsess over them Life is full of unsolved mysteries that plague me years later The author created an enigmatic character, Giselle, that nobody really knew except in bits and pieces Even when combined in one room, those bits and pieces did not quite make up the entire woman She was a riddle that became and obsession for many.The content and the story is very well planned and executed, leaving the disturbing aspects eclipsed by the novel itself The mysteries kept me turning the pages because I wanted to know the answers to the riddles which kept revealing riddles This one I would encourage to a book group, although not to the ladies in my congregation Not that I don t think they should read it because I enjoyed it in a twisted sort of way I simply don t want their version of the truth of me to be interpreted by the books I recommend For them, I recommend Pollyanna Sexual content High amount and part of Giselle s feelings of worthDialogue Moderate swearing F word used.Violence ModerateContent Taboo subjects are addressed although not necessarily acted out in the way the reader might have expected Predatory sexual acts, rape, incest, exhibitionism, voyeurism, among other subjects are broached Remembering that I am a prude in my inner core, I did not find the approach to be inappropriate If I am specific, I will spoil the book. In Malice, Quite Close is Brandi Lynn Ryder s debut novel And as blown away as I am by the book itself, I am even blown away by this fact The writing is spectacular and the story itself is just as magnificent Put these facts together and there is no denying Ms Ryder s core talent as an author.I expect that this book will stay with me for a long time to come It s disturbing and heart wrenching subject matter has a genuine honesty that I didn t expect to find between the lines And while the plot is troubling at times, there are beautifully sharp edges to it that have left me moved We ve created our perception of the truth That s all reality ever is In Malice, Quite Close is a lot like looking at an old painting that you know you could never paint or understand, but you intrinsically love as though it is your very own Do not let the amount of time it took me to finish this book lead you to believe I found it difficult to get through In fact, it took me longer to read than most books simply because I took my time drinking in every single word, making it last as long as possible As much as I wanted to know how it would end, I never once wanted to be finished with this great story. [ FREE PDF ] ♇ In Malice, Quite Close ♐ A Haunting And Sophisticated Debut In Which Priceless Art And Unspeakable Desires Converge French Ex Pat Tristan Mourault Is The Wealthy, Urbane Heir To A World Renowned Collection Of Art And An Insatiable Voyeur Enad With Karen Miller, A Fifteen Year Old Girl From A Working Class Family In San Francisco Deciding He Must Rescue Karen From Her Unhappy Circumstances, Tristan Kidnaps Her And Stages Her Death To Mask His True Crime Years Later, Karen Is Now Gisele And The Pair Lead An Opulent Life In Idyllic And Rarefied Devon, Washington But When Nicola, Gisele S Young Daughter, Stumbles Upon A Secret Cache Of Paintings All Nudes Of Gisele Tristan S Carefully Constructed World Begins To Crumble As Nicola Grapples With The Tragedy That Follows, She Crosses Paths With Amanda Miller, Who Comes To Devon To Investigate The Portraits Uncanny Resemblance To Her Long Lost Sister Set Against A Byzantine Backdrop Of Greed, Artifice, And Dangerous Manipulations, In Malice, Quite Close Is An Intoxicating Debut That Keeps Its Darkest Secrets Until The Very Last Page I won this book on goodreads from Viking and I am very thankful The first chapter will get you hooked I would highly suggest this book All of the lies and betrayls are mixed with what the characters think love is A great book that kept me guessing until the very end. The cover of this book is great I can t wait to get and to read it I knew from the moment I read the jacket blurb that this was going to be one of those books with which I d either instantly connect or from which I d find myself unquestionably repulsed It turns out it was a fascinating mixture of both, though of the former, and I m still thinking about it and everyone involved and wondering how exactly to write a fair review To start, I would LOVE to give this book five stars I really thought, once I got about 20 pages in and had been enraptured by Ryder s prose, that this would unquestionably be one of those stellar outcast heart stabbing novels that fall by the wayside simply because they are too good to be accessible This was not quite the case here, though if one does not have at least a passing familiarity with the major artists of the 20th and 21st centuries, most of the allusions and renderings will pass overhead unheeded.To begin with, I would rather cite the novel s striking accomplishments and attributes they begin with the lengthy first person introduction from Tristan, with whom one is meant to identify as a seer, an artist, and, though he would never coin the term himself nor stoop to something so manual and crass, a MAKER From the moment he identifies himself and his purpose, we are made to feel a sympathy and sympathetic need For all his rich prose which, though sometimes blue or black, never crosses the line into purple , Tristan has a vast need he is seeking to fill He begins his journey, his courtship, at the same time Karen who is ultimately to become Gisele begins hers It is the ultimate origin story, for creatures far frail and fractious than superheroes.The narrative alternates between Tristan s first person past revelations and the current linear progress of the narrative itself I want to like him WE want to like him For all he does, he is never violent, ugly, or uncharitable This is where the lines might blur for a lot of people who find the very idea of this story and its suggestion of incest repugnant the ways in which he cares for her are ultimately proprietary and protective, and that shares an uncomfortable resonance with both lover and father What father has not felt protective of his daughter What lover has not felt suspicious seeing his partner with someone else, even someone older, to whom there seems to be an undefinable attraction To me, ultimately, this book spelled L O V E as C O N F L I C T Amongst all the entanglements, it hardly felt that anyone had been given a fair chance at simply receiving love for all its virtue and with none of its consequence the one exception being Nicola, Gisele s and, purportedly, either Luke or Tristan s daughter, though she is raised as Tristan s GRANDdaughter, to give you an example of said entanglements young daughter, who is coming close to an age where she is beginning to question everything about life, including her own origins It is both good plotting and bad luck for her that her curiosity coincides with irrevocable and destructive events.Once the pivotal event takes place about a third of the way into the novel, we receive of the past via Tristan and yet from letters written by characters and old photographs and new, provided by some to others hired by yet some within to spy upon the extended family Any review would be remiss if it did not mention Robin Dresden From the moment he was introduced I was drawn to him as much as I was to Tristan and his aesthetic perversion so, even, and this was brilliantly done As things evolve and are slowly revealed it becomes evident that Robin is Tristan s mirror, and what can be said about one can be reflected or distorted in the other To that end I shall say no and let it be part of the delicious puzzle that kept me reading.By now, if you are reading the book and are than a third of the way in or halfway through, you ll notice I ve left out Luke As Gisele s husband, he ought to seem quite important however, he is immediately and quickly sketched in such detail, and never to any degree enriched beyond the most base human needs and wants, that one tends to forget about him until by an unlucky stroke of chance he becomes known as the artist of a massive series of paintings mostly nudes, and very intimate of what are to become known as the Gisele Paintings The true artist is, of course, a mystery could it be Tristan, supposed father figure and Grand pere to Nicola Luke is disgusted and horrified by what this implies Could it be someone else while Luke was having his own affair with Amanda Miller a young psychology student who knows someone who knows someone who brings her into contact with Luke, and, after an astonishing series of events and revelations, her own thought long dead sister, Karen Miller, aka Gisele Even as the web of suspicion expands it contracts, turning everything into a terrible series of coincidences that ultimately tear apart the character or creation, if you will at its heart after this event, everyone must piece together what they know of the narrative, which is slowly and painstakingly and, if I may say, brilliantly stitched together from Tristan s past reminiscences and what the characters remember together once they meet in the here and now in Devon, Washington Again, love is a subjective term It is spelled also as longing and need and jealousy in this narrative, all knotted together in a loose hunk of tangled mischance better known as obsession Diving into it won t damage you At worst, it will make you re examine your own objects of desire At best, it will make you set them free in a new and unexpected way, as Gisele herself does in an ultimate disclusure which I shall not spoil for anyone who feels the need to read this book.Again, I WANT to say five stars I really held on and clung to it, thinking just give me that gut wrenching finality, just give me the tears or absolution or despair and I was never quite rewarded for my sympathy or investment in any of the characters Even the dark horses were saddled and bridled by the end Even Nicola s plight, ending as it does in an unusual rescue, moves me less than knowing it occurred amidst and against this backdrop of a larger tragedy With a little art, I think this novel could have stood to expand several chapters and perhaps 50 pages perhaps the emotional payoff and anguish I felt I deserved was edited out It could also be possible that I simply wasn t moved by what others might consider a less than happy ending to an already unhappy tale I suppose we ll never know In conclusion, I d suggest this as worth the read for writing craft Tristan s prose in particular, while sometimes caustic and condescending, is nonetheless intimate and lovely and occasionally borders on sacred If you are worried about the themes of incest, rest assured, nobody who s actually getting together in that way is actually related, though it does loom as a threat and motive for a couple characters for a while Rest assured, insofar as THAT taboo is concerned, propriety is preserved For the rest, I can make no promises I think there is a secret voyeur in all of us to whom Tristan speaks, viewing the world through lens or as a canvas, and later through indescribable secret passages that offer singular and private glimpses into the most unguarded moments of one s Gisele s existence You will never know how much you want to see until you begin to look and beginning to look is the first part of discovering something beautiful. I wasn t quite sure what to expect from this rather large novel The title itself was intriguing enough that I had to at least scan the first page Once I had, as the cliche would go, I hardly put it down I really mean no offense when I say that in all of the books I ve won through giveaways I never really expected to find one so profound Perhaps it is my absolute adoration for the artistic world, such was awakened in me during my Honors Art Appreciation class, or even my vague knowledge of the French language that so engaged me, at least in the beginning for there was so much that would prove equally entangling if not The language that Brandi Lynn Ryder uses is so refreshing for someone who often finds one too many young adult books, as they truly are of an easier variety on the reading palette In Malice, Quite Close was a book that uprooted my senses from their hiding place It made me, in a strange sense, feel alive Though the main portions of the book can be quite disturbing and a few of the adult, for a lack of a better word, sections made me want to overlook them I knew that they were in the story for a reason, that Ryder was simply conveying the truth that if the book lacked it we d all be demanding how Ryder thought she could get away with its exclusion No, it was a necessity just as the wonderfully and brilliantly written philosophies This book will forever be endearing to me as it raised such curious questions and a desire to find the answers that I once searched for long ago This is a book you will devour, but will leave you hungering for exquisite things that you never knew you had such a gumption for I must give some credit, however, to my philosophy professor for first instilling such a quest in me, but these hunts too often grow cold with the passing seasons It seems that I have gone in quite a circle with my review that does not seem to meet at any point So to that very point I seem to be avoiding I will simply say, as if anything can be said simply about such a book, the characters were developed and I so grew to love a great many and to hate a few others, surely the effect they were written to produce The writing was of such intellect that I felt enlightened and, sorry to repeat myself, hungry for philosophy and art, things we humans overlook too much in a logically ran society, though whose logic it is I m not quite sure Again I am off subject, I seem quite distracted, but the book is too blame, my thoughts are so much livelier The style, too, was refreshing and written in such disarray that I was longing to consume the words and , rather I was never bored As a side note directly to Brandi Lynn Ryder I d like to add this Your writing has such an effect upon your readers You have such a way with creation and thinking that is both inspiring and slightly frightening and if this book proves anything it s this, you are capable of such brilliant and motivation and I only hope that you continue to keep us living rather than counting down the days we have left Awaken in us the desire to push limits and to search our libraries, something that people rarely do these days and I must confess I too am much the same, for answers that will continue to keep that little flame of life lit if only for a while longer I won this book in a First Reads Giveaway My review is a reflection of my honest opinion and is not influenced by the fact that I got the book for free. If you loved this book then boy do I have the book for you OThis is a bad retelling of the book Lolita It s very similar to that classic and, as such, it just can t hold a candle It s actually so similar and tight a retelling that I m amazed it wasn t put in the book blurb The author flips things around or delays them, and the murder is different, but still It s quite similar, from the journal start to most everything.Thug Notes summery of Lolita the Ryder just can t compare The changes she makes are odd and don t really help the book either For example, she tries to make Tristan to be likeable And she fails One of the uncomfortable things about Lolita is how the author is able to make you feel bad for Humbert and Ryder doesn t have an inkling on how he did that.Basically, this book is in multiple VPs and Lolita isn t That s the crux of why Tristan would never be considered likeable No one truly like Humbert but the author controls your POV so well in Lolita that he doesn t give you the chance to see from others perspectives nor does he hid what the pervert does he has Humbert rationalize it all.One uggy scene in Lolita has them Humbert and Lolita having sex not in detail, mind you in a cottage one the first time he has her He tries to put her to sleep with sleeping pills and he explains how this was for her own good Then he says that they didn t work but it s okay because she wasn t a virgin.The reader knows that s a load of croak but we also know Humbert believes it and having only one POV, a highly unreliable one at that, makes it hard not to kinda sorta understand That s the strength of Lolita and this book totally misses the mark.The other thing was that most of his choices simply don t make sense Karen was far older that Delores who was 12 at the time so it made sense to keep the father daughter thing going on Karen was almost 16 Why keep up the pretense If he was so rich, why not just fake an ID for her If she wouldn t be working then why does she need a SSI I can think of absolutely no reason what so ever that she d need to assume the life of his dead daughter.Why did she marry Luke I don t understand that I know it was probably for the daughter but that still doesn t make any sense It was the 1980s, not the 1920s Unwed mothers weren t all that rare back then Why would he not move them away from suspicious people and why move to Washington None of it made any sense