New Book – A Night on the Orient Express by Veronica Henry (Pages 1 – 98)

Publishing year: 2013

I love Veronica Henry’s books as they usually follow a group of characters joined by the same setting and circumstances. This time the setting is the Orient Express, and before our characters board the train, we get to know them.

First, there is Adele Russel, an 84-year-old widowed woman, who calls someone Jack Molloy because she wants a painting for her Imogen, who is turning thirty soon. Jack doesn’t raise any objections, and even invites her to come to Venice, where he lives, on the Orient Express. At first, Adele refuses, but when she rings off, she thinks that it could be a nice trip.

There is a chapter about the past when Adele was thirty and met Jack. At the time Adele felt lonely and miserable. Her twin sons were in boarding school, and William, her husband, who was a doctor, spent most of his time in his surgery. One day he went to an auction, and there Jack was. Adele was interested in a painting, so she bid for it, but Jack eventually got it. Later Adele went for lunch to a hotel, and Jack appeared, and without any invitation he sat at her table, telling her that he wanted her to have the painting. In the conversation Adele told him about his family life, and Jack said that he was married to Rosamund, a wealthy woman. It is clear from the first moment that Adele felt drawn to him, but she didn’t entertain any thoughts of that attraction going any further. Then a few days later she got a letter from someone called Brenda, who told her that she had returned from overseas and had lots to tell her everything. Adele didn’t have any friends, called Brenda, so she knew it was from Jack. Yet, she had no intention to meet him at the Savoy, but then as the feeling of uselessness intensified with William refusing her offer to help in the surgery, she decided to meet Jack and she told herself it was just lunch. I could imagine that they must have.

We also got to know Imogen, Adele’s granddaughter. The young woman is in a relationship with Danny McVeigh, who is not from her usual circle of friends. Imogen knows Danny from secondary school, and back then he was wild and got involved in petty crime. The last time she heard about him she learnt that he was in prison. Now about twelve years later Danny returns, walking into her art gallery. At first, Imogen thinks that he wants to just inspect the gallery to rob it. Yet, Danny is interested in buying a painting, and Imogen learns that he is into security, selling cameras and alarms. Danny insists on having her deliver the painting as he needs some decorating tips. So from that day on they embark on an affair. Nobody knows about them, and when she asks him to come to her birthday party, he doesn’t turn up. Imogen comes to understand that she is nothing to Danny, just a notch on his bedpost. So she reaches a decision: she will take a job in New York and break up with Danny. So the next day before she leaves with her grandmother for the station she leaves a letter for Danny, explaining how she needs to start from scratch and she thinks they should part ways. Oh Imogen. Why haven’t you talked to Danny face to face? Why have you assumed things before talking to him? I hope Danny follows her to Venice.

Another character is Riley, a photographer in his sixties. We learn about his discovery of a model, Sylvie, in the carriage of the London tube. Riley makes Sylvie famous, and it is in Venice, when Sylvie turned eighteen, she decided to give him her virginity. So from that day on Riley and Sylvie have met in Venice; in their lives they have had other lovers and relationships, but on Sylvie’s birthday they have always met in Venice. This year Riley is to take the Orient Express to meet her, but on the way to the station a car pulls in front of his taxi, and the last thing he sees before the two cars collide is Sylvie’s face. Does this mean that Riley is dead? I hope not. That would be a real let-down when we have just got to meet him.

I don’t have more time for describing the characters as I need to go. I’ll continue later.

Advertisements Share this:
Like this:Like Loading... Related