Thriller set off the A12 in EAST LONDON
Novel set around the globe
18th October 2016
The Santiago Sisters – by Victoria Fox, novel set around the globe.
A novel set in Argentina, London, Paris, Los Angeles and New York. Oh, and let’s not forget Barbados, St. Tropez and Tuscany!
There should be no surprises here. You know when you open a novel set in such a plethora of glamorous places, what it’s going to deliver. It’s going to be a sensational, intrigue-laden romp at breakneck speed across the globe. It’s going to be full of spoilt, super-rich characters, who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals and you know you’re not going to be troubled too much by weighty ideas or moral issues. And Fox’s novel delivers on it all.
Twins Calida and Teresita Santiago are born to a mismatched Argentinian couple and spend their childhood running wild in the land surrounding their estancia. They are devoted to and support each other through their mother’s moods and the vicissitudes of their temperamental tutor until, one day, Teresita witnesses something very disturbing and begins to dream of escape. When their father dies suddenly and a young man, Daniel, turns up to help on the estancia the twins are driven further apart. And then into their lives comes famous, super-rich and super-spoiled actress Simone Geddes, who has decided that she wants to adopt. Her eye falls on beautiful Teresita, who is happy to fall in with her plans and be swept off to life in the fast lane. Simone knows that, ultimately, the bond between the twins will get in the way, so she comes up with a cruel ruse that effectively means that the girls are separated permanently. While Teresita is being groomed for life as an actress aided by Simone’s money and contacts, Calida, abandoned and angry, resolves to claw her way to the top single-handedly.
So the novel romps on with all the convoluted plotting, twists and cliff-hangers you would expect of this genre and yet, to be fair, Fox does deliver a bit more. For a start, the sex scenes are good. No mean feat this, for sex scenes are often evasive or embarrassingly coy. Not these. Fox’s sex scenes are full, frank and thrilling. Also, her central characters are more fleshed out than you normally find with such novels. Teresita, Calida and even Simone are skilfully drawn and, whilst you certainly dislike each of them at points in the novel, Fox also manages to engage your sympathy and understanding. In addition, she pleasingly ensures that everyone gets the come-uppance they deserve and that the main characters learn what is of real value by the end. What more can you ask?
I enjoyed this novel. It’s escapism, sure, but sometimes that is exactly what is needed, especially as the nights are drawing in.
Ellen for the TripFiction Team