Even if every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way, the ambitious Kissel clan makes a good case for being spectacularly miserable and tragic. The two well-to-do sons of the rich and demanding William Kissel were murdered between 2003 and 2006: investment banker Robert by his wife, Nancy; embezzler Andrew by culprits still unknown. Never Enough (out 10/30), the latest (and best in years) from Joe McGinniss, tries to make sense of their fate — and tells a story that reads like The Brothers Karamazov pushed through the tabloid wood chipper.
Keeping the focus mainly on younger brother Robert and wife Nancy, McGinniss captures a thousand delicious details (he notes a Hong Kong magazine’s headline after Nancy’s trial there: evil foreign woman murders husband — lover scotfree in america). His eye for emotional complication (Kissel family holiday arguments will make your own family’s bickering seem like pure love, trust us) and sharp prose make what could have been a trashy page-turner into a taut moral fable about greed, ambition, and justice.
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