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SoHo Sins (2016)

by Richard Vine

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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503418,284 (3.63)1
"They were the New York art scene's golden couple--until the day Amanda Oliver was found murdered in her SoHo loft, and her husband Philip confessed to shooting her. But was he a continent away when the trigger was pulled? Art dealer Jackson Wyeth sets out to learn the truth, and uncovers the dangerous secrets lurking beneath the surface of Manhattan's posh galleries and decadent parties, a world of adultery and madness, of beautiful girls growing up too fast and men making fortunes and losing their minds. But even the worst the art world can imagine will seem tame when the final shattering sin is revealed."--… (more)
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Showing 3 of 3
See the Reviewed to Death column in the next issue of Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine. ( )
  MugsyNoir | Oct 27, 2017 |
SoHo Sins is the latest novel from Hard Case Crime. Like other novels
from Hard Case, it is a story of murder, depravity, cruelty, jealousy,
and more. It is, however, very much unlike most of the Hard Case
catalog. It does not harken back to fifties-era pulp fiction. It does not
feature petty criminals, card sharks, or drifters who somehow get
caught up in something more than they bargained for. Rather, the
story centers around the uber-wealthy elite of the Manhattan art
galleries, of the cyber-tech bubble of the late nineties, of sojourns in
Paris, and high-end prep schools.

It is a world of broken marriages, of young Italian mistresses, of
cocktail parties, of slow deaths from AIDs, Cancer, Brain damage,
broken arms, and more.

The tone and the pace of this novel are unlike much of what you find
in pulp fiction. It is narrated in an introspective, confessional manner
by someone who has lived a full life and can now look back on these
events from a distance. And, unlike many pulp novels, the pace is not
a frenetic cross-country chase, but a slow building of tension.
There's murder to be sure, and there's an investigation, but a slow
methodical inquiry by a criminal defense investigator for a confessed
murderer who has literally lost his mind, accompanied by the narrator
who knows all the parties involved and is himself involved with all the
players.

As the novel progresses, there are portions that will probably make
you uncomfortable- portions that are extremely creepy in a Lolita-fashion. That's part of the shock value.

Overall, this novel fits well into the Hard Case lineup, although it is
longer and more introspective than most crime novels. It is a
psychological portrait of a world of wealth and self-absorbed
decadence of the SoHo art world. The more you look inside the rabbit
hole, the darker and more sinister it all becomes.
( )
  DaveWilde | Sep 22, 2017 |
“Why tell nice people the truth, Jack? Isn’t there enough grief in the world already?” So says Laura, the assistant to the narrator of this grim crime story, Jackson Wyeth (a name the author obviously intended as an homage to artists). Jackson is a successful if tragic art dealer, a loner (his wife has died prematurely of an illness) who is well connected to everyone in the Soho art world of the late 20th century. Two of his closest friends are Philip and Amanda (Mandy), and when Mandy is found murdered in her Soho loft and Philip, who had been cheating on her with another woman, confesses to the crime, Jackson becomes intimately involved in the case. His personal friendships include a detective for hire, and the two of them quickly focus on Paul, a charismatic video artist with a Lolita fetish who was nevertheless sleeping with Mandy. Meanwhile Philip’s first wife and her 12 year old daughter, Melissa, move into Jackson’s apartment building and he becomes a reluctant companion to Melissa as he begins to unravel connections between her, Paul, and the murder case. There is more than one twist ending, and Jackson takes the reader on an insider’s tour of the decadence that was the Soho art scene.
Vine’s writing and dialogue are superb and the story about as dark as noir crime gets without a single chase scene or gun firing, every character is tainted and keeping secrets, but I admit I was relieved to get to the end. Some mystery stories are propelled by the narrative, and some by the narrator, but Jackson is more than a cynical or untrustworthy narrator: he comes across as ambivalent not just about the art world but those in that self-absorbed world he is claims to be closest to. Soho Sins is a brilliant, humorless portrait of the darker side of relationships that fans of James M. Cain or James Ellroy or even the filmmaker Neil Labute will find irresistible, but prepare to leave as jaded as Jackson. ( )
  BradenAndrews | Dec 17, 2015 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Richard Vineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Maguire, Robert A.Cover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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"They were the New York art scene's golden couple--until the day Amanda Oliver was found murdered in her SoHo loft, and her husband Philip confessed to shooting her. But was he a continent away when the trigger was pulled? Art dealer Jackson Wyeth sets out to learn the truth, and uncovers the dangerous secrets lurking beneath the surface of Manhattan's posh galleries and decadent parties, a world of adultery and madness, of beautiful girls growing up too fast and men making fortunes and losing their minds. But even the worst the art world can imagine will seem tame when the final shattering sin is revealed."--

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