by Guy De La Valdene
Category: Fiction / General
299 pages; ISBN: 6081302295
Rating: 10/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Guy De La Valdene
Lyons Press, 2003, $22.95, 299 pp.
Vincent was born to an unmarried maid working on the estate of the Count and Countess of Costebelle. He has no idea who his sire was, but his Uncle Serge Lebuison, who also works as the gamekeeper, serves as his male role model as he becomes a young man. When he was nineteen, someone kills his beloved Serge. Count Costebelle hires Vincent to replace his late uncle. Vincent blames poachers who he believes were chasing the famed RED STAG and he vows vengeance.
However, Vincent forgets his need for revenge when his childhood friend Nicole Costebelle returns from Paris. Nicole and Vincent begin to fall in love, but they will soon learn why they can never be more than friends even while a hunt for the RED STAG has been set in motion...
Though this tale is set in the late 1960s early 1970s, it feels more like a Victorian novel due to the setting, poaching, and the privileged aristocracy. The story line seems subdivided between a murder requiring resolution against insight into the upper and working classes (including professional poachers). Though feeling out of time, readers will appreciate this vividly descriptive character study of the interaction and great divide between isolated social classes.
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