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Flesh Tones Hardcover – June 25, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books; 1st edition (June 25, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 034545104X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345451040
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,201,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Did Genny Haviland poison Slade Gabriel to save her adored father's art gallery or did she help the acclaimed artist kill himself before Alzheimer's disease destroyed his mind and talent? Although billed as a courtroom drama, there's not a great deal of suspense here, but that may not matter to readers who prefer their mysteries with a romantic subplot. In this engrossing, erotic novel, the affair that begins when 17-year-old Genny meets and falls in love with the married, much older Gabriel, and then spans two decades is more than a subplot--it's the whole thing. While the outcome of Genny's murder trial is hardly in doubt, it's a good frame for a nicely told story of love, art, and obsession. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Emotionally numb after her passion for an artist ends in tragedy, Genny Haviland faces a New York jury in this sensuous courtroom melodrama combining art world intrigue with romantic obsession. Precocious, pampered 17-year-old Genny fell for artist Slade Gabriel, more than twice her age, when he walked into her father's Madison Avenue art gallery, but as soon as he found out who she was, Gabriel ended their affair. Two decades later, an accident brings them together again, each successful in a career but not in marriage, each still longing for the other. This time the affair ends with Slade's death and grieving Genny is tried for his murder. As the story switches back and forth between the courtroom and Genny's memories, erotic passages alternate with psychological observations of Genny's doting father, distant mother and gifted, moody lover, as Genny decides whether to take the stand on her own behalf. Romance fans will savor the descriptions of sexual desire, the emotion-laden internal monologues and the web of family relationships, while followers of the art market will recognize situations resembling the scandals surrounding the Rothko estate, de Kooning's health and price-fixing among reputable art dealers. In the end, it is not the art but the intensity of erotic discovery that drives this novel, overwhelming the comparatively tame mystery as Rose (In Fidelity; Lip Service; etc.) explores the incongruities and pitfalls of family and romantic relationships in this story of sexual discovery.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it.

Please visit her blog, Museum of Mysteries at http://www.mjrose.com/blog/

Her photo was taken by Judith Pushett utilizing an old relic: a turn-of-the-century 11 x 14 inch wood camera.

Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka.

Her most recent novel THE COLLECTOR OF DYING BREATHS (Atria/S&S) was chosen as an Indie Next Pick and her next novel, THE WITCH OF PAINTED SORROWS will be released March 2015.

Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com

The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization's co-president..


Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
5 star
31
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6
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See all 38 customer reviews
Wonderful characters: memorable.
Sandra Gulland
I can't remember the last time I read a book that kept me riveted to the page for so long.
Angela Hoy, WritersWeekly.com
Plot, characters and twists all written in layers.
Jody

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This courtroom drama drew me in quickly. Rose examines love and obsession, focusing on romantic, passionate unions as well as familial, parent-child relationships, and she does it all within a tight and gripping plot. A perfect summer read and a step above the average beach book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
A real page-turner! I stayed up most of the night to finish it. Ms. Rose "paints" a superb, riveting story, with strong, complex, and fascinating characters. She is a great storyteller and the first-person narrative works very well with the detailed descriptions of scenery and feelings alike. Courtroom settings and dialogue are first-rate, with very thorough research, as is all the minute details about art and the art world. FLESH TONES is also a great love story, with a once-in-a-lifetime love, devotion, passion and desire. It is high drama, love, suspense and intrigue, with intricate characters and relationships.
Ms. Rose is a real winner with FLESH TONES. It is a sophisticated, intelligent, highly entertaining and very well written novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 3, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Flesh Tones is the kind of book you carry around with you for days and keep reading... while you are waiting for a meeting to start... while you are waiting for someone to arrive at a restaurant... while the kids are watching tv... in the bath... while the pasta is boiling.
I couldn't put it down. And was very very sorry when it ended.
What a book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Elizabeth on July 6, 2003
Format: Paperback
What is the dividing line between deep love and obsession? Who should be allowed to judge when a relationship crosses from one to the other?
Genny Haviland met artist Slade Gabriel in her father's gallery when she was 17. They became lovers, an affair that lasted for only weeks in reality but survived for the rest of Genny's life in her heart and soul. They meet again twenty years later, only to have Gabriel learn he has fallen victim to rapidly advancing Alzheimer's. Knowing he could not bear to live without his art, Genny agrees to help him commit suicide.
But a missing letter results in her arrest for murder, and a grief-stricken Genny has no inclination to fight the charge. Instead, as the trial proceeds, she reviews the past, the present and the relationship that has defined her emotional life, looking for an answer that may defy explanation.
In her latest novel, M.J. Rose explores yet another aspect of the relationships between men and women and how those relationships can define us even more than we define them. Child of a distant mother and a father whose love carries strange, twisted undertones, the young Genny is ripe for the kind of intense, all-encompassing passion she finds with Slade Gabriel. She is at once sympathetic and irritating, stubbornly clinging to the loss of her lover as if it will somehow compensate her for the greater loss of the emotional connections she never had -- or allowed herself to have.
FLESH TONES, however, is more than simply a study of one woman's overwhelming need for enduring love. It is also about creativity, and how the truly great artist will always have one small part of his or her soul they cannot share no matter how deeply they love another.
Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "tigd" on August 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Flesh Tones is a fast paced novel that weaves great romance and passion together with the intensity of a murder trial. Readers learn that Genny, daughter of a gallery owner, is on trial for the murder of her lover Gabriel an artist whose paintings have become well known in the art community. While the trial is taking place there are scenes that take us back in time to give readers a better understanding of the events that led up to Genny having to defend herself in court for the murder of Gabriel.
Genny, who is now thirty-seven, first met Gabriel when she was only seventeen. Immediately they both felt a special kind of connection to one another even though nearly twenty years separated the two. In some ways they came from the same world in that they were both a part of the art community but in other ways their worlds were very different. Gabriel was a burgeoning painter whose intense work was just beginning to gain popularity while Genny's father and mother owned and ran an art gallery. The two quickly find themselves in a tumultuous affair full of passion and ardor which ends as suddenly as it started when Gabriel finally discovers that Genny is only seventeen. The two are later drawn back together after an accident that lands both Genny's dad and Gabriel in the hospital. Would murder be the result of their reunion or is there another explanation for the death of Gabriel?
The flashbacks are done very well and the flow of the story is never disrupted. M. J. Rose brings the characters in her novel to life and the backdrop of the art world creates an interesting backdrop for this novel full of passion and suspense. This is the first book by M. J. Rose that I've read although now I'll be looking for her others in hopes that they are just as tastefully written and gripping as Flesh Tones.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Blaine Greenfield on April 14, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Is it exciting to watch the progress of an author . . . M. J.
Rose's first novel, LIP SERVICE, was a terrific erotic
thriller . . . her second effort, IN FIDELITY, was good too . . . but I must admit that I liked her latest book, FLESH TONES, perhaps the most.
This is the riveting story of a woman who is accused of
murdering her lover, a famous painter . . . or was it that she
helped him escape from a certain death that was slowly
eroding his sanity?
Sometimes, flashbacks can be disconcerting in a novel . . . not
here . . . Rose uses them to effectively fill-in the gaps of
the story that also features a suspenseful trial . . . and
there are some hot sex scenes, though not nearly as
many as were in her earlier works.
I also liked the fact that I got a behind-the-scenes look
at the art world, something that I knew very little about.
In addition, there were several beautifully written passages;
among them:
We had eaten, slept, now we ate again. Time was passing and
each moment was taking me further away from what had
happened toward what would happen.
I thought the abortion would quench some of my ardor for Gabriel, but it didn't happen. My body refused to obey my intellect. Around him, I was always ripe, ready. As time passed, I'm almost convinced myself a baby would have been an unwelcome disruption in our lives.
"And then one day he met this willowy, brown-haired hippie
girl who gave herself to him. No demands. No expectations.
And he fell for her. For the first time in his life. Christ. It was like feeling rain on your face for the first time, or discovering a new color."
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