too old to be a virgin,too young to be a killer
a romantic thriller
Faye is an innocent young secretary in a Glasgow pharmaceuticals company. Her days are identical. “Does anything,” she asks her friend Ellen, “ever happen?”
Ellen, forty-five, is what Faye may turn out to be if something doesn’t happen—dull, desperate, disappointed.
Then the moment comes—her chance at life—a proposal from her boss Mr Jonson that she move to Paris and help him set up a new company there.
Excited but frightened, she can’t believe this has fallen into her lap. She is a little suspicious about his intentions, but he persuades her that he needs her as an assistant and not as, well, his mistress.
Of course it’s a secret—they’ll be in competition with this company and she mustn’t say anything to anyone, not even Ellen. On his suggestion Faye “takes a two-week vacation” to meet him in Geneva.
At Heathrow she stumbles onto the lap of Barnaby Barnes, a likeable drunk traveling with a rich bitch and her small dogs. The rich bitch scowls but Barnaby manages to chat Faye up on the flight to Geneva—
—where she waits while Mr Jonson makes his banking arrangements. Then they train to Paris, and a flat rented by the new company. He has anticipated every detail—a gorgeous place, a credit card, a closet full of designer clothes. She has only to wait till the wheels start turning and her responsibilities begin.
So she waits. Who could be bored in Paris? But she is. Oh, well. A lonely supper in a bistro by the Seine, two strange men at her elbows—
—something in her wine, and she is frog-marched out like a drunk onto the bridge, and tossed.
The cold jerks her awake. She looks up at them looking down for her, swims out of sight and hauls herself out while they watch her purse float away.
When she gets back to her flat the police are waiting. “A great deal of money is missing, Mad’moiselle.”
A Swiss account that pays the rent? And pays the credit card? All those clothes? They take her downstairs, hands cuffed behind her, to a cruiser—which, oops, is commandeered by the thugs, who drive her away and try to force a cyanide pill into her mouth. A struggle. A crash.
She escapes, picks a purse and pay-phones Mama Ellen, who gets into Jonson’s former computer as one last email arrives confirming his reservation on Beaumont Island, a tiny rock in the eastern Mediterranean owned by a former movie star.
“Escape the modern world and trade convenience for luxury on a Mediterranean island—at prices that guarantee exclusivity.” No phones, no electricity—very expensive; the kind of place where people meet who don’t want to be seen.
At an airport shop she disguises herself as the girl in the stolen ID. Then she cards a ticket as womanizer Keith Marlowe, just the kind of James Bond she needs, sizes her up. It’s a half-empty flight, they sit her in business class, Marlowe offers her champagne, and she resists, not quite successfully, falling in love.
At the Cyprus baggage claim:— Don’t you have luggage?
— (She smiles no and heads away.)
— (He has to watch for his bag and calls—) Where are you going?
— Beaumont Island.
— (surprised) That’s where I’m going!
— (stops and looks at him) Really? (walks away) See you there.
— (His bag is coming. He dives in among other passengers, grabs it and catches up to her.) Wait a minute! How are you getting there?
— That’ll take forever! Come with me in the helicopter!
— (keeps going) A little beyond my means, I’m afraid.
— I’m hiring it anyway! You’ll be my guest!
— (stops and confronts him) Mr Marlowe, I’ve decided not to be the guest of rich and charming men any more.
— Ah, the young! So cynical! At this time of year there may not be any boats! That sea gets rough! You could wait for weeks.
Jonson is shocked to see Faye on the island. Marlowe has come to cut a deal with him for the briefcase full of bearer bonds he’s sleeping with—on this bare rock there’s no place to bury them—and Marlowe’s loyalties are suddenly divided between Faye and Jonson, whose cold and disappointed mistress Ms Dekker moves to Marlowe.
Formerly famous Madame Beaumont has converted her house to a hotel, is used to playing hostess to shady people, and takes Faye under her wing, not that it helps.
Faye finds herself in a den of thieves, and must fend off attempts on her life by becoming a killer herself. Ms Dekker, the hired assassin who had Faye thrown into the Seine, tries to murder her in her bath.
Marlowe, a player in this world, an arranger of under-the-table deals, is the only one who knows what he’s doing. She loves him. Can she trust him?
Barnaby, the likeable drunk, has been abandoned here by his fed-up rich bitch. Funny, generous, brilliant but half-unconscious, he’s the warmest of the men she finds there, and helps Faye get rid of the bodies. If only he weren’t such a fool!
The bodies are piling up. Her innocence is behind her now. There’s no going back. And things are happening!
Pretentious pictures presents
too old to be a virgin,too young to be a killer