It’s August–there’s still time for a compelling summer read like Montclair author Jacqueline (also known as Jay) Carey’s “It’s A Crime”.
The protagonist, Pat Foy, is a landscape architect married to a telecom millionaire, who lives in the most exclusive area of a town modeled on Montclair. As the book opens, her glamorous life begins to unravel during a visit to the Philadelphia flower show. In a dramatic and effective case of foreshadowing, Pat is transfixed by a menacing ‘Black and White Garden’ – the glaringly lit centerpiece of the show: “…eddies of black and white blossoms. Violet-black irises. Purple-black hollyhocks. White foxglove spikes barnacled with little pink-tongued bells. Huge white pompom hydrangeas. The dark plum-colored ‘Black Jewel’ tulip, with its shark-toothed petals.’
It is here at the flower show that Pat first learns her husband Frank has been cheating. No, not on her; he’s been cheating the shareholders of the huge telecom he works for with his wildly unorthodox accounting methods and the misdeeds of his handpicked team of ‘high risk boys’. As the wife of an extremely high profile white collar criminal modeled on the major players in the telecom scandals of the last ten years, Pat’s life takes a toboggan to hell. Just as the black and white garden evokes clear cut right and wrong, good and evil, so does it describe the stark change in her life from top of the hill to social pariah. Carey’s extensive research into her subjects – she even sat in on some infamous white collar trials – pays off in a pitch-perfect, highly engaging tale.
What are fellow Baristavillians reading as we round the corner into September, and would you recommend it to your fellow posters?