Margot Mifflin
December 06, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Sex Crimes

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Jenefer Shute
publisher
Doubleday
genre
Fiction,

We gave it an A

The flinty Christine Chandler is a successful Boston lawyer whose charged relationship with a younger man results in a bizarre crime roiling with mythic undercurrents. Awaiting her trial, Chandler tells her story with a mix of icy honesty and slippery lies, keeping the reader guessing about whether she’s stone crazy or misunderstood. The book — which should win an award for best closing line of the year — delivers the answer like a slap in the face. Chandler is desperately lonely, scorchingly funny (when her relationship goes awry, she feels like ”a gastropod with its shell pecked off”), and like the best villains, both unlikable and irresistible. Jenefer Shute’s Sex Crimes is a delightfully unwholesome piece of pulp fiction. A

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