Almost A Crime
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Almost A Crime

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  836 ratings  ·  52 reviews
In Almost a Crime, Vincenzi exposes the cracks in a British power marriage. Tom and Octavia Fleming glitter among the chattering classes of London in the late 1990's. Tom, a brilliant political strategist, and Octavia, an equally talented charity consultant, appear to have it all--good looks, money, success, and three pretty children--everything but precious time together....more
Published (first published December 1st 1995)
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I think I smiled throughout the entire million-page duration of this book. Rich people having affairs! Baby abductions! Evil best friends! Every five pages, someone bursts into tears; every ten pages, someone chokes down a glass of expensive champagne; and every twenty pages, someone insists that she can't possibly continue this conversation, as it's making her feel quite ill (the vast messy soap opera is narrated in the Queen's English). In short, I can't imagine a novel more perfect for slight...more
Tom and Octavia Fleming are described by the media as a power couple. Attractive, wealthy, and poised on the cusp of a glorious future, neither of them is at all prepared for the events that blindside them.

Seemingly out of nowhere, an affair between Tom and a woman he refuses to name, catapults the two of them into a series of horrific scenarios that impact their personal and business lives.

"Almost a Crime" is a richly textured tale that feels as though it encompasses a vast period of time, but...more
Jessica Chambers
Tom and Octavia Fleming have what the media likes to call a “power marriage”. As well as having three children, they run their own highly successful companies and are always ready to share their individual expertise to help the other. They’re portrayed in the press as the perfect modern couple, and are much sought after at public functions for the glamour that surrounds them. If, perhaps, they don’t get to spend enough quality time either with one another or their children, the rewards make the...more
As a follow up to her trilogy to the Lytton family, I have to admit that I am pleasantly surprised. I fell immediately in love with the Lytton dynasty (No Angel being an absolute delight), so I was slightly nervous going into "Almost a Crime," afraid it would not live up to my expectations, having become so smitten with her previous work. Once again, I am smitten! Somehow, Vincenzi manages to write characters who live glamorous, wealthy, extravagant, successful existences, yet, when it comes to...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'm very surprised I managed to get through all 817 pages of this. I wanted to hit all the characters in the book who, although believable, were shallow, stupid and self-absorbed, and I found it difficult to care what happened to them, let alone like anyone (including any of the minor characters). The story wandered around, with little suspense, barely reaching a point, and had an unsatisfactory ending (although admittedly, I'd probably only be satisfied if everyone in the book died).
A big, fat soap opera type book. It had some involving plot lines but felt overwritten. There were too many business discussions in the beginning that started to bore me. The characters were realistic and flawed. It was good enough for me to give the author another try.
Penny Vicenzi always writes such entertaining books. However, "Amost a Crime" is too much. Or in this case, too many: Too many plots going on, too many coincidences, and way, way too many women who ending up "in a flood of tears."

Review for the abridged audiobook.

736 pages is a daunting size for a book, so it seemed like a good idea to listen to the abridged audiobook version - and it didn't leave me feeling that I wanted to go back and read the book to fill in all the detail, as I sometimes do for something I've really enjoyed. It was well read by Laura Brattan, but I did lose track of some of the many characters and it's hard to trace back to find who people are on a CD. From other reviewers, I realise that the book te...more
I had previously read The Spoils of Time trilogy, though some time ago. But I remember quite liking them and when I found this thought I'd give it a go. However I could never really get to grips with it.

The characters seemed rather one dimensional, with none of them particularly likable. Now I don't mind 'unlikeable' characters, in fact thay can be quite intriguing, but here they just seem like cyphers in order to tell a well worn story.

The central character Octavia Fleming is mother of three...more
I didn't realize this author is a Danielle Steele clone until I'd read about 50 pages. Originally I mistook her for a writer more similar to Olivia Goldsmith whose books I've really enjoyed. What put me off about this book was the obvious in-your-face formulaic pattern of the story telling. There weren't any surprises,nor was there any suspense about what outcome awaited each of the characters. It was all very predictable, but what did surprise me was that even though the length of the book was...more
Jan 04, 2008 Alison rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alison by: Joann
As my Aunt Joann said this book is amazingly written, but poorly plotted.This might bother some people, but I got so caught up in the seemless prose and character development which jumped from character to character within an upper class social circle in London. I read it in about two days it was so enthralling (no small feat for a 600 page book). It has romance, children, infedility ect. And parts of it managed to surprise me, but then again I was surprised by the ending of "Win a Date with Tad...more
ive been a bit disapointed with some of the penny vincenzi books ive read lately so when i picked this one up i was a bit apprehensive - but despite a slow start where i felt i couldnt warm to any of the characters i ended up really enjoying this book!i like a good story with characters that are realistically flawed and three dimensional, and this book had all those things,i was impressed with the way louise was portrayed, and octavias father was an interesting (and detestable!) character aswell...more
Kristin Strong
A little on the wishy-washy side with the protagonist's relationship with her husband. Ditch him or don't, okay? I don't have a lot of patience for this hot/cold stuff. Other than that, this is a good Penny Vincenzi novel. Sharp dialogue, decent plotting (except that it's never really explained how or why the affair at the heart of it all began)'s a good summer read.
Moody Claire
It took me a very, very long time to finish the book "Almost a Crime by Penny Vincenzi". Too many words and plots all in one book. I did love the ending. I wasn't expecting that the story would end that way but I was happy it ended like that.

All in all, it was a good book. Not that great for me but good.
While written in Vincenzi's graceful elegant style, about the fancy people of London, this one wasn't her best. The plot endlessly dragged on for most of it, endlessly going in circles about the same themes, Octavia was barely likable, hugely indecisive. My favorite character was Marianne.
Sorry...don't judge a book by it's cover. I don't know anything about the author, but this is pure English drama. It's like watching a BBC drama; you want to change the channel when it gets bad, but you just can't. Besides, this is a good type of read in between intense books.
Interesting but not as good as the first one I read by this author. I guess I was expecting more.
A power marriage has problems from a too possessive wife's father and an affair by the husband to the wife's best friend from college. All ends well though.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa Kovacs
This has to be the slowest book I have ever read. By the time it got interesting there was so much flipping between characters that I couldn't even remember who they were or how the were related to the main character in the book.
Angela Kitchen
about halfway through this book I got annoyed by all the different story strands and not really caring what happened to whom. The underlying story was good, but think the book went on for too long
Ella Roberts
I love the way this woman writes, all the characters and how thick it is; by the end of the book I feel like I know so many more people in my life and I start to miss the characters!
627 pages of a British Soap Opera.... Didn't really want to finish ti but there were so many characters and plots I keep hoping that somehow it would all come to together.
This book was OK - no big faults but not great. Lots of interesting characters with intertwining relationships. A bit predictable but mostly a good diversion. Good beach read.
After reading and thoroughly enjoying the Lytton family trilogy, i decided to try out another Vincenzi book. This book did not disappoint. Another great book!
Fannie Dagenais
I really liked this book! I thought it was a real scrumptious read, and I might have read it twice (I'm not sure, I can't remember!)
Light easy read - characters are shallow but the writing style keeps you reading to see what happens next. A good summer no brainer read.
I tried and tried to get into this book, but it just didn't happen for me. I found the characters lacking, and overall boring.
Ellie Revert
Nov 26, 2008 Ellie Revert rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ellie by: I like the author.
I did enjoy this book--but then again I love anything about the UK. It's long--but a great airplane book--or the beach!
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I was nine years old when I embarked on my storytelling career. I wrote my own magazine called “Stories”, which I copied out three times on carbon paper and sold for two...more
More about Penny Vincenzi...
No Angel (The Spoils of Time, #1) Something Dangerous (The Spoils of Time, #2) Into Temptation (The Spoils of Time, #3) The Best Of Times Sheer Abandon

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