The Gregorys are a political family from Massachusetts. The family patriarch is a U.S. Senator. Along with the power and privilege of this position they have a compound on Cape Cod, money, and good looks. Although we learn that the family has stepped on many to get where they are, their public face presents people with a social conscience, a patriarch who is a powerful liberal, a legacy of tragedy and enemies galore. Sound familiar?
The book opens as a young woman attending a party at the Gregory’s Palm Beach estate is allegedly raped by two of the senator’s nephews. The scandal is hushed up, and the woman later dies of a drug overdose. A few years later, George Becket, who attended the party in Palm Beach, is a prosecutor on Cape Cod and is contacted by the father of a teenager found murdered on the grounds of a country club adjacent to the Gregory’s Cape Cod compound. Her killer was never found, and the case had turned cold. Bill Telford is intent on justice for his daughter, a local girl who worked at a store on the cape.
Becket begins to investigate Heidi Telford’s murder and to examine his own drunken recollections of the assault in Palm Beach. As the moral and political intrigue deepens, we see the cracks in a mediocre prosecutor who began life with a great deal of promise and terrific connections. Cracks which began after that first encounter with the Gregorys many years earlier in Palm Beach.
Crime of Privilege would be my pick for a summer beach read without a doubt. The novel is well-plotted and keeps you engaged, but is not so intricately plotted that you need to focus intently and can’t enjoy your day in the sun. As I said, a perfect beach read!
Book Details: Published by Ballantine Books (June 18, 2013), 432 pages, ISBN: 0345541537.