In Malice, Quite Close

A haunting and sophisticated debut in which priceless art and unspeakable desires converge...

When Tristan Mourault—expatriate aesthete, and heir to a world-renowned collection of Impressionist masterpieces—catches sight of young Karen Miller during a trip to San Francisco, he knows he must have her. Convincing himself that she deserves more than the frayed, middle-brow life she was born into, he sets in motion a calculated campaign of enchantment and romance that sweeps Karen off her feet. First, he stages her disappearance. Then, her transformation. Karen, the ordinary fifteen-year-old girl, becomes Gisèle—Tristan's daughter by day, his lover by night, and the crowning achievement of his lifelong quest for beauty and perfection.


Fifteen years later, Devon, Washington. Framed by glacial lakes and snow-capped mountains, Devon is a picturesque bohemia with a prospering art scene. Tristan and Gisèle are the center of this elite, eccentric, and capricious world, and Gisèle herself has matured into a sophisticated young woman. The desired object of many admirers, she is also now a devoted mother to her daughter Nicola and a distant wife to Luke, the man she married to keep up appearances. But the secrets that hold their life together are as ornate as the town's legendary architecture. When Nicola uncovers a cache of unsigned nude portraits—all of Gisèle —Tristan's carefully curated world erupts, and tragedy unfolds.


An exploration into the origins of obsession and the beguiling power of art, In Malice, Quite Close tells a story of perilous greed and manipulation, drawing readers into a byzantine drama that keeps its darkest secrets until the very last page.

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  • Excerpt  Download a short excerpt of the novel.
  • Book Club Guide  SPOILER ALERT: This is an excellent aid to an in-depth discussion of the novel but be warned that it does reveal one of the book's central mysteries.