“PRIVATE LIES” by Warren Adler: Love burns like the African sun in this fine novel
It makes perfect sense that Hollywood once bought the movie rights of Private Lies. It reads like a movie. If you need to be entertained, everything you need is right here: interesting characters, adventure, passion, sex, jealousy, love and hate, and the beautiful landscapes of Africa. One can easily imagine certain actors playing the lead roles. With Private Lies Warren Adler has delivered one of his finest novels. (To know your reviewer: I’ve read a dozen at least. In general I’m a reader of both serious works by authors such as J.M. Coetzee and J.G. Ballard, and purely entertaining works by authors such as Warren Adler, Simenon, as well as the stuff in between, such as Philip K. Dick.) For me Private Lies ranks high with Adler’s The David Embrace and Trans-Siberian Express. Why? Three reasons. Characters, plot and twists. The protagonists in Private Lies are well worked out, each with her/his own past decisions that have shaped their lives and explain the drastic actions they are about to take, influenced by the African heat. For the story please read the publisher’s info. I do not want to spoil it for you here. All I’ll say is: it’s entertaining. In that sense it is exactly what it is intended to be: a fine escape into lies and deceit, all induced by the destructive fires of love. For a while this can be so exciting that one almost believes their lives are indeed more adventurous than our own. But it’s the twisting of the plot that provides the finishing touch. Several times, up to the very end, Warren Adler surprised me with an unexpected development. So is this novel up your alley? I’d say: you’ll probably enjoy Private Lies if you like the mixture of romance and adventure, if you like the romantic notion of the ‘one love’, the true love for which all others will have to take a step back. Way back. I hope you agree.