Oliver Vice, forty-one, prominent philosopher, scholar, and art collector, is missing and presumed dead, over the side of Queen Mary 2. Troubled by his friend's possible suicide, the unnamed narrator launches an all-consuming investigation into Vice's life story. Fascination turns to obsession as he peels back the layers of the Vice family's rich and bizarre history.
"The gratifications of The Vices are both redolent and wispy. Douglas keeps us interested in the arc of Oliver’s life while teasing us with glimpses of the narrator’s shallowness, unreliability, or inability to live up to his subject. Douglas’ impressive artifice is sturdy enough to give us a credible experience of a mind but sufficiently skewed to let us try to fill the gaps."