Charlotte Grimshaw - Soon (4 stars)

Charlotte Grimshaw - Soon

An efficient, coolly poetic tale of Auckland’s glitterati

Treading a fine line between literary and commercial fiction, Charlotte Grimshaw’s Soon is a nuanced, exciting tale of Auckland’s glitterati.

Successful obstetrician Simon Lampton holidays with the Prime Minster, David Hallwright. In the melting heat of a luxurious resort in Rotokauri and under the sun-lotioned spell of Hallwright’s wife Roza, Simon’s life unravels with political and personal consequences. When he is involved in a terrible incident his actions tip the balance of control and affect everyone. And oh, how Grimshaw relishes their predicaments.

The novel thoroughly exposes the vacuity of those entrusted with power: David abandons work in favour of personal training sessions, and over boozy dinners Roza discusses Brangelina. Grimshaw is an acute observer of aging vanity – Roza’s matching mother/daughter bikinis is a nice touch. The obsession with the body beautiful verges on the neurotic to darkly comic effect. Indeed, the prime minister becomes fixated on his own buttocks; a naughty parallel to his party’s self-regarding politics.

This is efficient, coolly poetic writing – paced like a classy thriller, it slips down as easily as the Hallwrights’ dirty gin cocktails.

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