I found out about this book on a forum. The author was offering reciprocal reviews for anyone who would review it. Then it turned up in the top sellers list at Amazon, so I thought I’d buy it. I have not taken up the review offer, maybe I should.
The action takes place, mostly, on the eponymous Manhattan street as billionaire George Redman gears up for his biggest ever deal. His favoured daughter Celina will play an important role whilst neglected child Leana is left to her own devices. However, someone wants to scupper the deal and destroy the family. (I won’t spoiler the bad guy for you, though the Amazon blurb does.)
Throughout the book I was reminded of a sort of mini series popular in the eighties, where unpleasant things happened to unpleasant people and we were supposed to care just because they were rich. None of the characters is particularly likeable, though that may be because none of them ever develops much of a character to care about. They just lurched from one unlikely event to the next, reacting in ways that left me wondering how Redman and his nemesis could ever have become so rich whilst being so dumb and devoid of empathy.
Sometimes you can get past flat characterisation with a fast paced plot, interesting background details and neat set pieces. Sadly Fifth Avenue doesn’t supply those either. The lives of the rich and infamous are reduced to name checking expensive brands and little else, and one of the most important and dramatic scenes in the book left me unmoved. The ludicrous revenge plan which drives the whole story is equally empty and uninspiring. What could have been a key sequence- where the big deal is brokered and the battling corporations make play and counter-play, revealing and tipping each others hands- all happens offscreen whilst uninspiring melodrama continues on the page.
I didn’t enjoy this book. But the author got my money, and the book is a best seller, so perhaps I’m the one who’s doing things wrong.
On second thoughts, maybe I won’t ask for the reciprocal review.
Fifth Avenue on Amazon UK.
Fifth Avenue on Amazon US.