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The Practice of Deceit

Selected as a Book Sense Pick and a St. Louis Post-Dispatch Best Book of the Year — Now in Paperback

"A lot of wicked fun." — Alan Cheuse, NPR's All Things Considered

"A psychological thriller . . . filled with ulterior motives and insights on complicated relationships." — New York Times

"The Practice of Deceit is a nail biter of a psychological thriller." — Susan Isaacs, author of Any Place I Hang My Hat and Close Relations

"A terrific nonstop read." — Ira Levin, author of Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives


About the Book

From the author of the New York Times Notable Book Almost, The Practice of Deceit (Mariner Books/Houghton Mifflin; May 8) is a psychological thriller about a nice guy who runs afoul of a ruthless divorce lawyer — who happens to be his wife.

When Eric Lavender meets Colleen O'Brien Golden, his cherished life as a Manhattan therapist and bachelor suddenly loses its long-standing appeal. Colleen is a stylish lawyer in the suburb of Scarsdale, and Eric, to his own amazement, is besotted. He moves his practice to Scarsdale to marry her and quickly settles into blissful suburban domesticity with their new baby and his adorable stepdaughter. He even becomes a local hero when the police turn to him to resolve a hostage crisis.

But Eric's transformation comes to an abrupt halt when the police come knocking on his door again — this time with handcuffs. He and his lawyer-wife are caught up in an explosive conflict of interest involving their clients. When Eric discovers that Colleen has gone to extreme lengths to conceal a secret past, she retaliates with horrendous charges against him. Eric must uncover the truth before his children, his career, and his freedom are taken from him forever.

As she did in her bestseller Almost, Benedict navigates the turbulent waters of love, law, psychology, and ethics with wit and penetrating insight. The Practice of Deceit is a gripping thriller and razor-sharp novel about marriage — and divorce — gone awry.


About the Author

Elizabeth Benedict is the author of Almost, which was selected as a New York Times Notable Book, a Washington Post Book World Book of the Year, a Newsweek Best Fiction Book of the Year, and a Best Book of the Year by National Public Radio's Fresh Air. She is the author of three other novels, as well as The Joy of Writing Sex: A Guide for Fiction Writers.




More Praise for The Practice of Deceit

"A terrific non-stop read." — Ira Levin, author of Rosemary's Baby and The Stepford Wives

"Addictively entertaining . . . her wit is as sharp as her eye, and twice as fast." — Janice Nimura, Newsday

"Wickedly funny . . . at times heartbreaking, always smart and entertaining." — Hallie Ephron, Boston Sunday Globe

"A nail biter of a psychological thriller." — Susan Isaacs, author of Close Relations

"A lot of wicked fun." — Alan Cheuse, All Things Considered, National Public Radio

"A psychological thriller . . . filled with ulterior motives and insights on complicated relationships." — New York Times

"A literary page-turner, as suspenseful as it is smart, rich in surprising twists." — Stephen McCauley, author of The Object of My Affection

"A rare find: a psychological thriller with plenty of spot-on psychology in addition to the usual thrills. It's smart entertainment by a very smart writer." — Chicago Tribune

"Benedict's psychological thriller will make for the perfect read . . . The genuine suspense is a bonus." — New York Daily News

"A smart, sexy, subtle, suburban thriller." — Book Sense

"Entertaining . . . [a] clever reworking of male-female roles." — USA Today

"This tightly woven psychological thriller is a journey for the reader . . . with plenty of surprises and insights along the way." — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Benedict specializes in the subterranean currents of modern relationships, the secret motivations and betrayals . . . her wit is as sharp as her eye, and twice as fast. She writes the hard, horrifying truth about human nature, and it is addictively entertaining . . . Benedict doesn't let the blistering pace overwhelm her powers of description — her takes on privileged parenting, as well as the delicate dance of therapist-patient dialogue, are funny and acute . . . If movie rights haven't been optioned yet, doubtless they will be soon . . . The breathless denouement . . . is satisfying. A rare find: a psychological thriller with plenty of spot-on psychology in addition to the usual thrills. It's smart entertainment by a very smart writer — the best kind of summer reading." — Newsweek

"Benedict has written a subtle literary novel that is also a psychological thriller. It is an exploration of marriage, divorce and the facades that people maintain. Eric watches as his life collapses, trying to make sense of a wife he doesn't really know, a scorched-earth divorce lawyer out to destroy him. To survive and keep his upper-middle-class life, Eric must uncover the harsh secrets from Colleen's past that she has hidden from him." — New Jersey Star-Ledger

"Highly recommended, and sure to make any bachelor think twice about marriage, this is a suspenseful and provocative look at the intricacies and dangers of intimacy with the wrong person." — New Mystery Reader Magazine

"Intelligently written and briskly plotted update on the femme fatale story makes an absorbing beach read." — Publishers Weekly



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